Pilgrims clinch narrow win vs Goshen
PLYMOUTH — Jacob Seagraves picked a good time to break out of a hitting slump.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning the Plymouth senior came through with a walk-off single to right-center, scoring Chase Peters from first base to give the Pilgrims the 5-4 victory over the visiting Goshen Redskins.
“I watched a pretty good fastball go by there on the first pitch,” Seagraves recalled of the final at-bat. “The next pitch, he hung a curve ball up there, and I just took it to right field in the gap. I haven’t been stepping up with my hitting lately and hopefully this will be a turning point for me.”
Seagraves went 2-for-4 on the night with two RBI, both coming with two outs in the inning. The first plated the final run during a four-run third inning for the Pilgrims.
Goshen jumped on the board first with two runs in the third.
Casey Looker was hit by a pitch and Jorge Pizana followed that up with a double to the wall in right field. Looker scored on a single to right by lead-off hitter Austin Henke, and a wild pitch allowed Pizana to cross the plate for the second run.
Plymouth answered back in the bottom of the inning.
Trenton Briles singled in his first varsity plate appearance, Hayden Skirvin drew a walk and Blake Milliser bunted his way on to load the bases with nobody out. Joe Knapp doubled to the fence in right, scoring both Briles and Skirvin. Milliser was able to score on the play when Goshen’s first baseman mishandled the relay throw from right. Knapp advanced to third base on a groundout by Conner Flynn, and Seagraves stepped in with his first single of the day to score Knapp and put the Plymouth lead at two runs.
Goshen struck again in the top of the seventh inning to knot the score at four each.
Pizana singled up the middle and moved into scoring position on a walk to Henke. Each runner moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Warren Kay. Goshen starting pitcher Sylas Buller helped his own cause at the plate with a double to the right field fence that scored both Redskin runners.
Plymouth would not be denied in the seventh, but it wasn’t without worry.
A walk to Knapp was a great start, but Flynn’s first attempt at sacrificing him into scoring position rolled just foul down the third base line. After fouling a second bunt attempt off, Flynn swung away with two strikes and hit a ground ball up the middle, and Goshen shortstop Warren Kay fielded the ball, stepped on second, and threw to first for the double play.
Kay almost ended the inning a batter later on a sharply hit line drive by Peters. He dove to his left to try to snag the ball out of the air, but it hit off the tip of his glove and rolled into center field for a base hit. That set the table for Seagraves’ seventh inning heroics as he hit the single to right to score Peters for the win.
Plymouth head coach Tony Plothow liked what he saw in his team in the last inning.
“We had a lack of execution in the seventh inning that I thought was going to come back to hurt us,” he said. “I like the way Seagraves battled. He handled that off-speed pitch and took it to the gap to win after Chase had a good at-bat with two outs. We just kept hitting.”
Plymouth starting pitcher Jordan Scheetz’s performance on the mound was equally impressive as Seagraves’ at the plate. The senior southpaw threw seven innings, scattered five Redskin hits, struck out five and walked four in the win. He mixed speeds and controlled his pitches well to get ahead of hitters against a grueling crosswind on the mound. Scheetz threw first pitch strikes to 22 of the 32 batters he faced in the game and left seven Redskin runners on the base paths.
“The wind was a factor. A couple of times it almost blew me over,” he said. “I started off in the first inning throwing first pitch strikes and that really just helped me out throughout the game.”
Plymouth ends a three-game skid with the victory, evens up its overall record at 5-5, and improves to 2-1 in the Northern Lakes Conference. Plymouth travels to Wawasee on Wednesday and will host NorthWood on Friday.
• PLYMOUTH 5, GOSHEN 4
Goshen: 002 000 2 — 4 5 1
Plymouth: 004 000 1 — 5 9 1
Jordan Scheetz (W) and Jacob Seagraves; Sylas Buller, Jesse Jake (7, L) and Travis Pickard
2B: Joe Knapp (P), Buller (G), Jorge Pizana (G)
Records: Plymouth 5-5 (2-1 NLC), Goshen 4-9 (0-3 NLC)