Clay closes out Plymouth, 7-2
PLYMOUTH — Key plays in key moments equaled a win for Clay and an early exit from sectional play for Plymouth as the Colonials took a 7-2 win at Bill Nixon Field Saturday afternoon.
Joey Lange was the key at the plate and Santos Kramer on the mound for Clay and execution that had been so instrumental to the Pilgrims heading into the tournament was lacking at key moments. Lange had a pair of homers — a grand slam in the second and a two-run shot in his next at bat — to account for all but one of the Clay runs. K.G. Parkhurst accounted for the other with a solo homer of his own.
The rest was sophomore Kramer who tossed a four hitter without walking a batter.
“I have to give credit first and foremost to their pitcher,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “I thought he did a fantastic job of moving the ball around and keeping us off balance. He got some help when the centerfielder (Aaron Bond) made a play on (Justin) Drudge’s ball; if we could have scored some runs there it might have been different.”
Bond made big plays all day for the Colonials the biggest on a drive by Drudge that seemed destined to be a double. Bond had another idea.
“We didn’t get out of some innings,” said Wolfe. “The bottom of their lineup did a good job getting on base and the top of their lineup did a good job driving them in. They were able to do that and battle and fight. You’re going to score some runs and you’re going to win some games.”
As had been the case several times during the season, the Pilgrims surrendered six of the game’s seven runs with two outs. Lange’s grand slam in the second came after a two-out error and his two-run shot came after a two-out walk.
The Pilgrims could sustain just one serious offensive threat when Elijah Nixon led off the fourth being hit by a pitch. Blake Milliser reached on an error and with two outs Brayden Davidson singled home courtesy runner Matt Flynn with the first Plymouth run. Milliser scored on Bailey Clark’s two-out hit.
That would be it.
“Our guys battled like they have all year,” said Wolfe. “I feel bad for the way it ended. They didn’t quit and that shows their character.”
“I go back to our seniors and the leadership they’ve shown. They lead by example and we are going to miss the seven that we have. It will be hard to replace those guys.”
Plymouth ends their year at 16-11.
• CLAY 7, PLYMOUTH 2
At Plymouth Sectional
Plymouth 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2-5-2
Clay 0 4 1 2 0 0 x 7-10-1
WP – Kramer. LP – Dragani (5-3). HR – Lange 2 (c), Parkhurst (c). 2B – Davidson (P)