PLYMOUTH – Plymouth’s Pilgrims fell victim to another outstanding pitching performance as they dropped an NLC decision to Northridge on the road Monday night by a 4-1 final.
The Raiders Cam Nickell mastered the Plymouth bats tossing a six hitter, striking out eight and walking only one to take the win, his first of the year. Benji Nixon’s RBI single scoring Cam Dennie broke up the shut out and gave the Pilgrims life in the seventh bringing the tying run to the plate but Nickell retired Jeremy Drudge and ended the threat and the game.
“It’s a battle every night. Every guy you see is going to throw strikes,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “Our guys battled too. Braydon made the one mistake early. That one pitch. You give a guy like that (Nickell) with that kind of stuff an early lead so he can work around some guys and do some things, it’s tough.”
And it was another tough outing for Davidson who took his second loss of the year surrendering just two earned runs giving up just two earned runs literally on one pitch – a three and two fastball that Nickell himself hit out of the park in the second. Braydon didn’t walk a hitter and struck out four.
Plymouth had an opportunity of their own in the second when Spencer Mae-Croft singled and moved to third on Cam Dennie’s double, but a solid defensive play by Nickell on Cam Eveland’s ground back to the mound saved one run and moments later and outstanding play by shortstop Cody Bible robbed Jeremy Splix of an RBI single.
“We hit some balls early on them and left some guys on base and he just kind of settled in there especially with the curve ball,” said Wolfe of Nickell’s performance. “I thought he could throw that in any count and when he can do that really makes it tough. His fastball had a little giddy up on it. You can mix pitches and pitch backwards the way he did it’s big.”
“We were hoping to get on the board early. Playing a team like this you have to get on the board early. Give them credit they made some plays. Our goal was to get up here and get on the board early. I’ve got to give our guys credit they battled back and got the tying run up there in the seventh inning, we’re not gonna give up.”
Jeremy Drudge came on to strike out two in a scoreless inning of relief, something the Pilgrims had been wanting to see.
“Drudge was able to come on there and get some outs in the sixth,” said Wofe. “We’ve been wanting to get him in maybe get him in a situation, let him work out some things.”
Dennie was two for two with a walk and a double for the Pilgrims, Mae-Croft and Nixon were 2 for three. Plymouth (9-5, 4-3) is back home for a date with Elkhart Memorial on Wednesday. Northridge moves to 11-3, 5-2.
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1-7-3
Northridge 0 2 0 1 1 0 x 4-6-1
WP – Nickell (1-0). LP – Davidson (4-2). HR – Nickell (NR). 2B – Dennie (P), Burgess (NR), Trick (NR).