Plymouth got an outstanding team game at the plate and another strong performance on the mound, as the fourth different Plymouth starter took the mound and delivered a solid game.
Nate Nixon went five shut-out innings, struck out seven, gave up two hits and walked just one in taking his first win of the season.
“He did a great job of getting ahead of hitters; he wasn’t behind very many,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “We didn’t have to throw a lot of breaking stuff. He was right around the plate with his fastball. We want efficient outings and that’s what he gave us.”
The performance of Plymouth’s pitching so far makes a log jam at the top, with seven solid appearances in the new season.
“That’s our job, to figure out in the next three days what we’re going to do and that’s a good thing, being able to have some options,” said Wolfe. “A guy may start on Monday and come out of the pen on Friday – that’s something they know we expect out of them – to be ready to go whenever we need them.”
Meanwhile the solid offensive performances of the Pilgrims made another pleasant problem.
“Their guy (Nate Flenar) was throwing well and we had some good swings on him,” said Wolfe. “When they brought in Ryan (Snyder), I thought we tried to work the other way and go to right field, so from one to nine, we had some great approaches and we hit the ball hard.”
Ezra Winkle and Grant Stukenborg had doubles for the Pilgrims, while Jesus Luva had a pair of RBIs.
Playing his first game in the outfield for Plymouth, Cole Filson showed flashes of brilliance, making several very tough plays look easy in helping Nixon get the win. He also tallied two RBIs at the plate. Winkle, Luva and Jackson Lee – in his first start behind the plate – also had a defensive impact.
“I saw Cole at school today and I told him, ‘you’re playing left field tonight’ and he smiled and said ‘okay,’” said Wolfe. “That’s the kind of guys we’ve got and that’s what you need when you have so many pitchers. You can draw up 20 different lineups and we’re going to be just as good with the first lineup as we are with the last. Getting them to realize that’s a good thing is important, and they should feel good about it. Not everyone has the ability to play that many places.
“We do things right. Excellence doesn’t take a day off. No matter what, we play Plymouth baseball. We’re going to have some tough games, some games where we’ve had to do different types of things and I think we’re ready to go.”
Plymouth moves to 3-1 on the year and opens the NLC season at Bill Nixon Field Monday against Elkhart Memorial. Triton is now 2-2.
Plymouth 10, Triton 0
Triton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-4-4
Plymouth 1 1 5 0 0 2 10-9-0
WP – Nate Nixon. LP – Nate Flenar. 2B – Ezra Winkle (P), Grant Stukenborg (P).