winklePLYMOUTH – It was a welcome return to the win column for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as Ezra Winkle tossed a two hitter and rode a five run first to an NLC home win over Goshen 5-2.

Other than the first inning when Plymouth jumped on Goshen starter Austin Cain for five quick runs on five straight hits, the game was almost a carbon copy of the earlier contest at Goshen — a classic pitchers battle between Cain and Plymouth’s Tim Tremaine. Seeing Cain the second time may have a lot to do with the Plymouth uprising in the first.

“We’ve seen him before and he works fast, he’s efficient and he throws strikes and that may have helped us early on,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “We told our guys to be aggressive early especially early in counts. We knew he was going to pound the strike zone and we were able to take advantage of hitting the ball hard early and we ran the bases well.”

“We knew he (Cain) wasn’t going to give up a whole lot,” he said. “We did some things to try to extend the lead there later on but couldn’t do it. But we did hold on.”

Cain went to the breaking ball more after the first and had Plymouth hitters out of sync the rest of the night. He gave up just three more hits in the game, throwing just 66 pitches, striking out five and not walking a hitter.

Winkle was not quite as efficient but was just as good as he gave up only a pair of hits and one earned run striking out five himself but walking four and hitting two batters.

“Our guys jumped out early and I thought Ez (Ezra Winkle) did a great job,” said Wolfe. “He settled down there in inning four, five and seven, was over the plate did a good job of staying down in the zone and got some ground balls. I think we had a good game overall coming back after a couple of tough losses.”

“He (Winkle) made pitches he needed to make to get out of situations,” said Wolfe. “We had a couple of double plays tonight. We had some errors on the board but overall with the double plays we had to get out of innings that made a big difference.”

“I think we were ready,” he said. “We had a good session of batting practice before the game and a good long heart to heart last night about playing the way we can play and doing the things we know how to do and we’ve done in the past. We haven’t done that the past few games.”
Moving forward life doesn’t get any easier as the Pilgrims travel to Wawasee on Friday night to face a team that has been playing well in the second half of the NLC season and beat Plymouth at Bill Nixon Field in their last meeting.

“The bottom line is our guys know how to play baseball,” said Wolfe. “They know how to hit the ball and do the things that we have to do to win games. We haven’t done that the past few games but we came to play tonight.”

“There are some fine things that we have to work on,” he said. “Our pitchers have done a good job of continuing to battle. They’ve kind of been thrown off a little in terms of when and where we’re going to pitch them but I think we’re back on schedule now and hopefully the weather cooperates.”

Plymouth moves to 12-7 on the year and 7-4 in NLC play. Game time Friday at Wawasee is 5:30 p.m.
at Bill Nixon Field
Goshen 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2-2-0
Plymouth 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5-7-3
WP — Winkle. LP — Cain. 2B — Dobuck (P), Deacon (P), I. Winkle (P).