Dolan CongratsPLYMOUTH – Plymouth’s Pilgrims held serve but it wasn’t easy as Wawasee took them to extra innings with a final of 3-2 in eight.
The Warriors tried to spoil Monday’s matchup with NorthWood for the Pilgrims and two sophomore pitchers led the charge. Wawasee starter Tony Garcia and fellow sophomore Carter Woody held the Plymouth bats – that had been potent in the last week – completely in check allowing just five hits on the night and striking out seven.
“We hit a couple ball hard but give them credit,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “Those are two guys we’re going to have to see the next two years.”
Even though the big guns were silenced, it was small ball that got the win as the Pilgrims executed the suicide squeeze to perfection in the bottom of the eighth with Thomas Dolan placing the bunt down the first base line to score Cole Filson from third to win it.
“I should have probably done it earlier (in the count),” said Wolfe. “It was a no brainer with Tommy at the plate, he did that earlier in the year at Wawasee. I had faith in him. I told him last night after practice he was in the cage working on his swing and he hasn’t been playing a lot I told him you’re going to get your chance. It happened to be tonight and he executed it.”
Plymouth freshman starter Matt Dobuck struggled in the first inning but his two walks after two were out were the only runs he would surrender in four and two thirds innings of work as he once again gave up just two hits.
“He did a great job of being around the plate other than the walks in that first inning,” said Wolfe. “He knows how to pitch. He’s worked his way in and he has a lot of confidence out there and it showed.”
Dolan’s pinch hit walk off once again illustrated the depth of the Plymouth bench with the return of Jeremy Drudge.
“Our dugout is a lot deeper now,” said Wolfe. “We’ve got guys on the bench ready to pinch run, courtesy run, pinch hit, opportunities with guys on the bench, and everyone has confidence in everyone. That gives me a level of confidence. That’s what’s awesome about this team is everyone has faith in everyone that they are going to execute what’s called.”
One thing that also adds to the coaches confidence is his team’s competence under fire in close games. Plymouth played error free ball after the first, a fact that contributed to the win with every play at a premium.
“Sometimes you get the ‘I don’t want the ball hit to me’ attitude and nobody has that,” said Wolfe. “I think that goes back to our maturity. They want the ball hit to them. They want to be that guy. When you get to the tournament all these situations are big. It goes back to trust in the guy on the mound, the guys in the field, the guy at the plate, the trust factor we have is incredible.”
The Pilgrims are 11-8 on the season and at 8-3 in the NLC set up a showdown – again – with NorthWood in first at 9-2.
at Bill Nixon Field
Wawasee 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2-3-0
Plymouth 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3-5-2
WP – Filson. LP – Woody. 2B – Nixon (P).