NAPPANEE – There wasn’t a lot of offense for Plymouth’s Pilgrims Friday night, what there was was a whole lot of Drake Gongwer as NorthWood held on to a win and to the top slot in the NLC race with a 1-0 final over Plymouth.

Gongwer was masterful from first pitch to last, striking out 14, walking just two and scattering four hits in a complete game win.

“He did a great job,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “We looked in the fourth inning his pitch count was pretty high and we thought we might be able to knock him out of there at some point but he did a great job of being around the plate all night. He had a little run on his fastball, away from our left handed hitters which makes it tough.”

The only run of the game came in the NorthWood half of the first inning when Brent Mast singled with one out and came home on Vincent Hershberger’s two out double.  Gongwer would make that hold up.

“We had some opportunities to drive some runs in we just didn’t have that big two out hit that we usually get,” said Wolfe.

Plymouth had chances to push across a run in the first when Cam Dennie singled and stole second but Gongwer struck out Jeremy Drudge and Ezra Winkle to end the threat. Again in the third Cole Filson singled followed by a walk to Benji Nixon moving to second and third on a passed ball. Gongwer was able to retire Dennie and Drudge to end that threat.

Singles by Winkle and Stukenborg in the fourth had runners at first and second with no out and Gongwer again escaped. Again in the seventh Stukenborg led off with a walk and Gongwer proceeded to strike out the side to put an exclamation point on the end of a great performance.

The NorthWood right handers ability to throw his breaking ball early in the count for a strike had a lot to do with his success.

“We are going to have to start making some different adjustments,” said Wolfe. “That’s what we saw Monday too and we didn’t hit that pitcher very well either so maybe we’ll have to start taking a backwards approach or something along those lines, but give him (Gongwer) credit.”

Lost in Gongwer’s performance was an equally impressive outing by Plymouth sophomore Jesus Luva who threw three shut out innings after the first and gave way to Cam Dennie who struck out four in two innings work.

“Our goal was four and three and we got four from Chuy there which is what we wanted with just one run and that’s what we’ve seen with these guys the past few years the one run games,” said Wolfe. “I was just a little disappointed we couldn’t push one across.”

Plymouth (8-4 and 4-2) has another crucial NLC game at home Monday with Northridge. NorthWood is now 12-1 on the year and 6-0 in the NLC.


Plymouth 0 0 0  0 0 0  0  0-4-0

NorthWood  1 0 0  0 0 0  x  1-7-0

WP – Drake Gongwer. LP – Jesus Luva. 2B – Vincent Hershberger.