ROCHESTER — Plymouth starter Tanner Feece couldn’t have been much better on a chilly wind-blown night at Rochester as he went six innings to take a 5-2 win.
Feece had faced the minimum, taking a no-hitter into the fourth before Rochester shortstop Tarik McGlothin got an infield single to lead off the frame and break it up.
The Plymouth right-hander gave up just two hits and one walk, striking out five, and was rarely behind in the count to get his first win of the new season.
“That is what we are looking for from him,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe of hist starters masterful performance. “He was in the zone and ready to come out and throw tonight. He was ahead of about every hitter and that was the key. I don’t think that we threw a curveball until about the fifth inning.”
“He was right around the strike zone and composed,” he said. “He’s probably our hardest thrower we will definitely be relying on him in our conference season.”
It looked like it might be all Plymouth early on as Rochester starter Kyle Reinartz struggled through the first two having trouble finding the zone and spotting Plymouth a run in the first and two more in the second.
He still made several big pitches to get himself out of trouble in the first two and then settled in to toss zeros on the board from the third on.
“I thought he (Reinartz) did a good job against us,” said Wolfe. “Early on we got to him but he kept us off balance. Who knows? It was cold and windy and we didn’t hit the ball as hard as we have hit them but we got enough to win.”
As it turned out the three would have been enough but first baseman Matt Dobuck continued his red hot start to the new season. His double in the first and two-run single in the second accounted for all three of those but he added some much-needed insurance in the seventh with a two-strike, two-out double for two more.
“He’s seeing the ball really well right now,” said Wolfe. “He hit that one-two pitch for a double for those two big insurance runs. We’ve been talking back and forth about where to hit him and I think we’ll keep him in the two spot for a while.”
In the last three games, Dobuck is hitting .500 with two homers and 12 RBIs.
After a lead-off double in the seventh Wolfe decided to make a pitching change and let sophomore Cam Shively came on to finish the seventh to pick up his first save of the year.
“We kicked it around,” said Wolfe. “We got him (Shively) loose (between innings). Tanner wanted to finish it. I went out there with the intention to take him out and let Tanner talk me into keeping him in. At that pitch count at this time of year is where I wanted him. He said he felt good but to get other guys into those pressure situations early on is only going to make them better.”
Shively got in a little early trouble but settled in to close it out.
“He (Shively) will only get better,” said Wolfe. “We were going to let Tanner finish but after the double to lead off the inning (seventh) he was right around the 90 pitch mark which is where I wanted to keep him.”
“We are still looking for that guy who can come in late in a game and throw strikes and we’re still feeling some guys out but I thought Shive did a great job.”
Plymouth moves to 2-2 on the year and will be at home on Thursday night against Triton with a 5 p.m. start at Bill Nixon Field.
•PLYMOUTH 5, ROCHESTER 2
Plymouth 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 5-4-0
Rochester 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2-3-1
WP — Feece (1-0). LP — Reinartz. 2B — Dobuck (P), Shively (P), Reinartz (R).