On a two game losing streak the Plymouth bats were handcuffed by Goshen pitching on Monday night held to just five hits and two runs but erupted almost immediately in a win over the Warriors that started out a lot diffently than it ended.
Wawasee jumped all over starter Grant Stukenborg for three straight hits and three runs in the first to stake their starter Josh Slabaugh to a big lead. The Pilgrims would have none of it bashing out three hits of their own and taking advantage of some key Warrior errors to plate five in the bottom half and never look back.
“I always think we’re going to hit the ball,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “You don’t want to get down early but I don’t fear getting down early. The kids know we are going to score some runs and even if we give up some runs in the first inning we’re still in the game. The second time through the line up, the third time through our hitters do a good job making adjustments, I was proud of them for fighting back.”
Ezra Winkle came on in relief of Stukenborg and tossed five shut out innings striking out seven – striking out the side in his first inning of relief – and took his first NLC win of the year.
“Our goal was to get him out there sometime tonight,” said Wolfe. “We could have probably bought Stuke out there but I wanted to get another look and another mentality out there. He did a great job of being around the plate, our middle infielders did a great job tonight with a couple double plays, now you know all you need is a ground ball and you’re going to get an out what a great game by them. All our guys in the infield are athletic they have strong arms and it makes our defense pretty tough.”
The Plymouth offense exploded again on the night with 12 hits on the way to 10 runs with Benji Nixon, Cam Dennie having multi hit games Jeremy Drudge with a triple and Winkle with a pair of RBI’s.
“We’re seeing the ball well and it goes back to good approaches,” said Wolfe. “We only talk about hitting the ball hard because you can’t always have any control over the result. When we’re working to right and right center we do a very good job. Up and down the lineup when we have our guys firing on all cylinders we’re pretty tough offensively.”
“A sign of a good team is when guys know adjustments to make themselves. We’re starting to get into a rhythym where they’re an extension of us and we can just back them up in the decisions they’re making.”
Wawasee 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3-9-4
Plymouth 5 1 0 2 2 0 x 10-12-1
WP – Ezra Winkle. LP – Josh Slabaugh. 3B – Jeremy Drudge (P). 2B – Cam Dennie (P), Noah Pesak (P), Rylan Kuhn (W), Jairus Boyer (W), Gavin Barker 2 (W).