“Honestly I thought we did a lot of good things,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “Our dugout was fantastic. We’ve been fighting some things mentally and emotionally and trying to find our place, jell as a team.”
“I was proud of our guys, we used every guy in that dugout tonight in some capacity and that’s what it’s about,” said Wolfe. “It’s about battling when you’re down. Tonight we came out with a little swagger, a little attitude and we hit the ball. Yeah we lost – but this game goes a long way for us at this point.”
A very good sight for Pilgrims fans was Plymouth striking first in the third inning. A one-out walk to Benji Nixon started the parade. Nixon stole second and scored on a double by Cam Dennie. Consecutive hits from Jeremy Drudge, Grant Stukenborg, and Noah Pesak kept it alive. That along with a Marian error allowed four Pilgrims to cross the plate.
That inning was also a welcome sight for Wolfe.
“I told coach Garrity that we really need to just get one, just to jump start us,” said Wolfe. “You saw it tonight, when we are hitting the ball (to the left and right center gaps) that’s when we are at our best. We’re staying middle away with pitches and not pulling off the front side.”
By night’s end the Pilgrims belted 10 hits with Benji Nixon going three for five on the night and two-hit nights from Dennie and Stukenborg.
“I thought tonight we had some excellent swings and we ran the bases hard and well, everything we haven’t been doing and that I know we can do well,” said Wolfe. “When we start putting things back together we’re a good ball club.”
It wasn’t such a good night for the pitching staff as Marian responded to the big Plymouth third with seven runs of its own in the top of the fourth. The big blow was a grand slam by Tyler Tirotta.
Marian added two more in the sixth. Plymouth responded with three of its own in the bottom half but couldn’t get any closer.
Jesus Luva led off the seventh with a walk and moved to third on Benji Nixon’s one-out single but Tirotta sealed the save on the mound stranding the runners at the corners.
“Our guys are fighting,” said Wolfe. “It’s not some magic potion that I’m going to pull out and everything is going to be okay, they have to fight through some of that themselves.”
“We do a lot of things in practice to try to help that process but that’s on them, they’re the ones with the bat in their hands,” he said. “Tonight I thought we fought through some things and moving forward some of the swings we had are going to do us good.”
Plymouth is now at the .500 mark at 10-10, Marian is now 8-11. The Pilgrims are in action again tomorrow night at Wawasee in and NLC game. They travel to Clay for a 6 p.m game on Saturday and return home Monday for a 5 p.m. NLC date with unbeaten NorthWood.
Marian 9, Plymouth 7
Marian 0 0 0 7 0 2 0 9-7-1
Plymouth 0 0 4 0 0 3 0 7-10-1
WP – Alex Crum. LP – Cole Filson. HR – Ryan Tirotta (M). 2B – Cam Dennie (P).