paveyDUNLAP – There was all the drama of a television reality show, but in the end Plymouth got back in the win column in the NLC at Concord by a 6-5 final.
“That’s as close as we need to get,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “We need to finish games and those are the kind we’ve been in the past few nights. To get the win, that’s all that matters.”
The Pilgrims scored three in the second inning with RBI singles from Dyllon Pavey, Benji Nixon and Cole Filson, and it seemed that might be it as Jesus Luva struggled at times with his command, but had enough to get into the sixth touched for just a single run in the third inning.
“I thought our defense played fantastic throughout the night,” said Wolfe. “Our pitcher got ground balls and we got a couple of double plays. Chuy (Jesus Luva) didn’t have his best stuff tonight; he was up in the zone a lot he couldn’t get his curveball over and I know the wind plays a lot into that, but you have to find a way to win and he did that.”
Luva escaped a huge jam in the fifth when the Minutemen loaded the bases and nobody out with big hitters Jack Leitzen and Alejandro Heredia coming to the plate. Sophomore Luva calmly faced down the two getting Leitzen to pop out to first baseman Ezra Winkle and then got Heredia to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning with no runs crossing the plate.
“That’s kind of his demeanor, it’s what keeps him in ball games and keeps him on the mound  not letting things bother him,” said Wolfe. “For a sophomore, being able to do that is huge and I think a lot of it is the confidence of knowing you’re one pitch away from being out of an inning with our defense is comforting.”
Some Plymouth hitters that had been struggling the past week found their strokes again, especially in the Plymouth sixth when Benji Nixon squared up a 2-1 fastball and drove it in the left center gap for a three-run double. Nixon had a pair of hits and four RBIs on the night. Grant Stukenborg had a pair of hits as did Dyllon Pavey.
“It’s a grind,” said Wolfe. “It’s ups and downs. Baseball is a game of failure and sometimes you have to find a way to dig out of a hole. Jeremy (Drudge) had some good swings on balls, Benji had the big hit there… it’s not like it’s gone it’s a matter of coming out of a slump and some guys did a good job tonight.”
“You’re always only one hit away from coming out of something. It’s a matter of finding that swagger again.”
Nixon’s double loomed even larger as Concord loaded the bases on three straight walks by reliever Cole Filson, plated two runs on an error by Nixon  and a single by Leitzen and Concord was within two at 6-4 with the winning run at on first and no out.
Cam Dennie came in and got Jake Diver to ground out to Nixon at short, scoring another and putting the tying run at third and the lead run at second. He then got Luke Schrock and Camryn Whitehead to strike out taking the save and the dramatic win.
Plymouth moves to 9-6 and 5-4 in NLC play. The team will be in action at Bill Nixon Field Saturday for the Plymouth Invitational featuring a matchup with Western and Fort Wayne Carroll at 11 am and the Pilgrims taking on Penn at 1:30 p.m.
Plymouth 6, Concord 5
At Dunlap