Lee swingGOSHEN — It was a classic pitchers’ battle at Goshen and in the end Plymouth’s Cam Dennie outdueled Goshen’s Joey Peebles for a win 2-0 that shakes up the top of the NLC standings once again.

“Heckuva game for our guys, always tough to win here with the long drive and then the rain delay,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “I’m just happy we could get a few runs against a pretty good pitcher that’s been around the NLC a long time and does a great job. These kind of games here, it’s not how many hits you get but when you get them. We were able to push a few across in the fifth inning and Cam did a great job closing the game.”

The Pilgrims came in with an almost “must win” situation having dropped their home contest to the Red Hawks, and having a disappointing Monday loss at Warsaw. It was a set up for a great game featuring two of the better pitchers in the conference.

Dennie struck out 10 and took a no-hitter into the fifth in just his second start of the season. He ended the night with the complete game, two-hit shut out. Peebles was just as good striking out seven in his six innings of work and giving up just three hits.

“We knew it was going to be a low scoring ball game,” said Wolfe. “Early on when I let (Jacob) Deacon swing away I went and told Coach (Kevin) Garrity from here on out we get a runner on we’re going to bunt him over. We were going to play for a run or two. We felt like with Cam out there they weren’t going to get many and if we could get a few we thought maybe we can hold them.”

In the sixth, Plymouth finally got another runner to first when Benji Nixon singled and went to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Cole Filson. Dennie then launched a ball to right that would have normally scored Nixon but he had to wait to be sure Goshen right fielder Austin Bontrager couldn’t make the catch. While he dropped the chance Bontrager threw a perfect strike to the infield forcing Wolfe to put the breaks on Nixon rounding third. Noah Pesak then picked up an RBI with a sac fly to center with Dennie moving to third on the throw. He then scored the second run on a heads-up base-running play on a passed ball.

“Cam getting to third in that situation was big,” said Wolfe. “I told them we were going to be super aggressive on the bases with the short backstop and that was big to give us that second run.”

Dennie then waited out a rain delay to come on and finish the gem.

“This was our plan when we started him last week at Northridge; this game was kind of on the radar,” said Wolfe. “We got him an inning in the middle late last week. He’s not likely to throw again until NorthWood on Monday. That’s part of why we sent him back out. He said he felt good and he’s hasn’t thrown a lot of pitches. The rain delay wasn’t that long and he did a great job closing the game out.”

The game also saw the return of another piece of the Plymouth puzzle as Jeremy Drudge returned to the lineup after a serious knee injury he suffered in football season.

“It lengthens our line up when you have a big lefty bat like that in the five hole and come back with another lefty bat in the eight hole,” said Wolfe. “We are still trying to figure some things out with him in the lineup but our kids were fired up to have him back in there. He’s worked so hard to get back; I’m happy to see him out there.”

Plymouth moves to 10-8 on the year and 7-3 in the NLC. Thursday a suspended game with Elkhart Memorial will be finished at Bill Nixon Field with the Pilgrims leading 11-5 in the bottom of the fifth. Friday Wawasee will come to town.


at Goshen

Plymouth 0 0 0  0 0 2  0  2-3-0

Goshen 0 0 0  0 0 0  0  0-2-2

WP – Dennie (1-0). LP – Peebles. 2B – Koshmider (G).