18342815_10158705899420241_2655573946850160795_nPLYMOUTH – It was the best of days, it was the worst of days as Plymouth’s Pilgrims took a huge game one win in the Plymouth Invitational over Penn by a 4-3 final and then had their defense implode in a championship game loss to Fort Wayne Carroll 10-1.

Carroll 10, Plymouth 1

The very first inning was the story of the game as the Pilgrims were unable to catch a fly ball early, and Carroll jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back.

“We just didn’t get out, maybe we weren’t ready to play and if so that’s my fault,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe, “They got five on us right away and that deflated us. I thought Ezra (Winkle) pitched well in the first inning. He got pop ups and the wind is what it is and you have to deal with it. We didn’t have very good communication. You give up five and playing from behind with a team like that, it’s tough.”

After a big win over Penn earlier in the day, Plymouth struggled to catch a fly ball in the first inning of game two and while no errors could be charged, Carroll scored two runs early without hitting a ball more than 90 feet.

Winkle deserved better in a start where he made big pitches, but got little help from his defense. The Pilgrims made seven charged errors in the game in an uncharacteristic performance that was the exact opposite of their game one win.

Sophomore Tim Tremaine came on in relief of Winkle and gave up just two runs in four innings of work.

“Timmy did a great job; he keeps the ball down, he mixes his curve ball, he’s going to throw strikes, he’s not going to put anybody on base,” said Wolfe. “He’s a guy that’s our number one guy at the JV level, and he’s won some big ballgames. He’s a guy later in the year I’m not going to hesitate to bring up. He’s definitely somebody we expect big things of in the next few years.”

Plymouth hitters who’ve been in a bit of a slump for the past week showed signs of better things to come for the Pilgrims.

“I thought we did a good job of squaring some balls up. We continue to do some good things, but we started bad and then just unraveled on us.” said Wolfe. “When you’re playing a top level program like Carroll, you aren’t going to get many runs, especially against the guys they have on the mound. But we did battle and have some good at bats.”

“I really thought today (Jeremy) Drudge and especially Ezra in the second game had some really good swings – maybe some of his best swings all year – to the opposite field,” said Wolfe. “We can be really deep, especially like we were at the beginning of the year and hopefully some of the guys are getting out of it.”

Plymouth moves to 10-7 on the year with an NLC game at Bill Nixon Field Monday against Warsaw. Carroll is now 13-3.

Carroll 10, Plymouth 1

At Plymouth

Carroll 5 0 3 0 1 0 1 10-10-1

Plymouth 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1-7-7

WP – Luke Ostrowski. LP – Ezra Winkle. 2B – Riley Perlich (c) Langston Ginder (c), Ezra Winkle (P).

Plymouth 4, Penn 3

Plymouth pitcher Grant Stukenborg gave up a home run on the second pitch of the game and his reaction was to go the distance, scattering six hits and taking a win.

“Our plan was to throw Grant (Stukenborg) and Ezra (Winkle) in game one and then whatever we had left,” said Wolfe. “For him to go out there and do that is huge. He did it last year here. If he’s got all three pitches going – he only had one strikeout today – but if he’s getting ground balls and fly balls, that’s all it takes. I thought he did a fantastic job.”

Trevor Waite had that leadoff home run for the Kingsman and added two more hits and an RBIs, but he was the only hitter that did much damage to Stukenborg, as he escaped any jam on the way to the win. He kept the potent Penn lineup off balance and while not overpowering, he was accurate walking just two in taking the win.

Cam Dennie continued his hot hitting with a first inning homer and three more hits, including a double and two RBIs to lead the Pilgrims. Nate Nixon had an RBI single in the game and Benji Nixon drove home Noah Pesak after he doubled in the fifth.

The only negative was 13 runners that were left on base in the game by the Pilgrims.

Plymouth 4,Penn 3

At Plymouth

Penn 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 3-7-0

Plymouth 1 2 0 0 1 0 x 4-9-0

WP – Grant Stukenborg. LP – Chase McKenzie. HR – Trevor Waite (P), Cam Dennie (P). 2B – Dennie (P), Noah Pesak (P).