PLYMOUTH — It was a tough day at the ballpark as Plymouth’s Pilgrims fought the rain and the Marian Knights in what was scheduled to be a doubleheader at Bill Nixon Field.
Luckily game one was completed before rain washed out game two. Unfortunately, it was a tough 6-4 loss for the Pilgrims.
Game one starter Matt Manzuk saw his first pitch in a high school game land far beyond the left-field fence off the bat of Marian’s Tyler Bortone but after that he was nothing but solid giving up just five more hits and leaving in the fourth with the Pilgrims having a chance to win the game.
“He has a great poker face on the mound and the way he does things and goes about his business, you don’t see that a lot in a sophomore, that poise and so forth,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “It probably rattled him but he didn’t show that. He gave us four innings and that was what I was hoping for was four or five innings. I didn’t want him to face the order another time through so we brought on Skylar and he kept us where we needed to be.”
Aker finished out the contest with three innings of work striking out two and surrendering one unearned run.
Meanwhile, the Pilgrims answered the challenge offensively answering the Marian two-run first with a lightening quick single by Ivan Winkle and a two-run home run by red hot Matt Dobuck in their half of the first.
Bradey Pittman followed with a single and Tanner Feece walked but the Pilgrims couldn’t push either one of them home for the lead.
Dobuck added to his offensive contributions with a big defensive game at first base.
“We keep getting better,” said Wolfe. “First inning we left a couple out there at second and third and only one out.”
“We could never get the lead,” he said. “That’s the thing. We hung with them. We answered back a couple of times. Still some things though that we have to shore up.”
Hitters are usually ahead of pitchers at this point in the season but Plymouth continues to grow more confident, and better at the plate after a solid performance at St. Joe to open the season.
“I said it last night that anybody in our lineup can hit a ball in the gap or beat out a grounder,” said Wolfe. “We are seeing the ball well, hitting the ball well, being aggressive early in the count.”
“When you go to make a lineup out there are a thousand different options that these guys give me,” he said. “We are just trying to find consistency. We need to be consistent across the board. We have to use each at-bat as an opportunity and our guys are doing that.”
Along with Dobuck’s second homer in as many nights, Bradey Pittman broke out in a big way with a no-doubt solo shot to center and a pair of singles and RBIs. Tanner Feece continued his consistent play reaching base twice on a single and a walk adding a nice defensive game in right field. Winkle also had a pair of singles.
The Pilgrims move to 1-2 on the year and will hit the road again on Tuesday with a game on the road at Rochester.
•MARIAN 6, PLYMOUTH 4
at Bill Nixon Field
Marian 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 6-7-3
Plymouth 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 4-8-2
WP — Compton. LP — Manzuk (0-1). HR — Bortone (M), Early (M), Dobuck (P), Pittman (P). 2B — Bays (M).