PLYMOUTH – It was a rocky start and it didn’t get any better for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as NorthWood rode solo homers from Sawyer Warren and Payton Bear in the first inning to a 10-1 win.
The victory solidifies the Panthers hold on first place in the NLC as they remain unbeaten at 6-0 through round one of the round robin schedule. The Pilgrims hoping to put a three team log jam at the top now find themselves needing a win at Northridge on Monday to stay in the top three in conference play ending the first round.
Plymouth starter Tim Tremaine – who had been close to lights out in four previous appearances – had trouble with his location from the start and takes the loss in four innings of work.
“It didn’t start out real well and we just couldn’t get anything rolling,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “They are a very good ball club. Timmy was up a little bit in the zone and they hit some balls hard, but he made some very good pitches that they still hit. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
NorthWood followed the two first inning homers with a pair of doubles from Kyler Hauptli and Brock Miller for another run in the second. They added four more in the fourth the big blows a two run double by Brant Mast and a two run single by starting pitcher Matt Dutkowski.
Sawyer Warren had three hits and four RBIs on the night including a double and the lead off homer. Brock Miller was four for four scored three runs had an RBI, and a double.
Meanwhile Dutkowski was silencing Plymouth bats that had been potent during the week giving up just four hits on the night and a single run in the seventh in a masterful performance.
“He’s a good pitcher,” said Wolfe. “I thought we took a lot of strikes early and we got on our guys to be more aggressive early in the count. He moved the ball in and out really well tonight and he mixed in some other pitches. We had some swings but couldn’t find any holes.”
Plymouth could manage just six baserunners on the night as Dutkowski walked Jesus Luva and Cole Filson and hit Benji Nixon with a pitch. Noah Pesak singled but was promptly picked off by Dutkowski. Jacob Deacon and Jackson Lee managed the only other hits. Deacon walked and eventually scored the only Plymouth run in the seventh.
The game ends a grueling stretch of seven games in eight days for the Pilgrims (6-6, 4-2) who will have a weekend off before hitting the road Monday for an NLC game at Northridge.
We’ve used a lot of arms and maybe we need a couple days off. We’ve had four conference games this week and every pitch in those is a tough, competitive pitch. There’s a lot of pressure. We’ve played some good baseball this week and we’re still in it going to Northridge. It’s been a grind.
•NORTHWOOD 10, PLYMOUTH 1
at Bill Nixon Field
NW 2 1 0 4 1 0 2 10-15-0
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-3-2
WP – Dutkowski (3-0). LP – Tremaine (1-3). HR – Warren (N), Bear (N). 2B – Warren (N), Mast (N), Hauptli (N), B. Miller (N).