Pilgrims continue winning ways with NLC victory over Concord
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth is on a roll.
Jordan Scheetz allowed just one run with strong support from the Pilgrims’ defense, Chase Peters hit a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, and Plymouth beat visiting Concord 2-1 in a Northern Lakes Conference game at Bill Nixon Field Wednesday.
It was the second time this week that Peters has batted in Plymouth’s final run and the Pilgrims’ second NLC victory in three days after another home win over Elkhart Memorial Monday. Scheetz, a left-handed junior with the team, scattered five hits with one walk for one run in seven complete innings backed up by an errorless defense as Plymouth notched its fourth straight win and second straight conference conquest.
“Jordan Scheetz on the mound threw another complete game for us; that’s two in a row following Richie (Luva) on Monday,” said Plymouth head coach Tony Plothow. “Jordan had a great night tonight, gave up one earned run, only walked one guy and struck out three. He only threw about 85 pitches so he was being pretty efficient, and we made all the routine plays behind him tonight with no errors.
“Just a good baseball game, and fortunately we came out on top tonight.”
Scheetz entered the season with little varsity experience, moving up with the squad only after a series of injuries sidelined four members of the 2010 Plymouth pitching staff, but he’s off to a strong 2-1 start on the mound this year following a focused off-season.
“He threw towards the end of last year when we had all those injuries. He ended up having to throw a couple games, and he stayed with us,” said Plothow. “He had a good summer for us. Getting ready for this season was a little bit different; he had a different off-season for us than he’s had in the past. He was pretty focused, and so far it’s paid off real well.”
The Minutemen took the initial lead in the top of the sixth after Scheetz and Concord pitcher Seth Huxford dueled for five scoreless innings. A base hit, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single plated a run, but Peters hit cut-off man Joe Knapp for the relay to second as the batter tried to stretch the hit into a double, and Plymouth escaped the inning down 1-0.
The Pilgrims responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, setting the stage for Peters’ walk-off heroics later in the seventh. All total, Plymouth tallied seven hits against Huxford, three of them doubles by Houston Hodges, Damon Howe and Kyle Cartwright.
But it was the home team’s defense that really shined.
After racking up 16 errors in week one and a combined 22 errors in their first five games, the Pilgrims have given up jsut one in two games this week.
“Like I said on the radio tonight that we as coaches, it almost seemed like we weren’t around in the first week, that we hadn’t gone over anything,” Plothow said. “Realistically, we’ve been going over all these fundamentals for months, it was just a matter of them getting some confidence and to make the routine play and then once in awhile make the spectacular play. You can definitely see the confidence right now. It’s early in the season, but we like the way we’re playing right now.”
Plymouth puts its four-game win streak on the line tonight as it travels to non-conference foe Logansport. The team will resume NLC play at Warsaw Friday before hosting LaPorte on Saturday.
“We had a good start to the week and now we just want to keep building on it and end up having a good week,” said Plothow. “Tomorrow and Friday we’re hoping to have some good games and then we’ll see what happens with LaPorte on Saturday, but right now we’re just trying to get better every night, and so far, so good with just building some confidence and doing the right things and coming out with a win.”
• PLYMOUTH 2, CONCORD 1
Concord: 000 001 0 — 1 5 1
Plymouth: 000 001 1 — 2 7 0
Jordan Scheetz (W); Seth Huxford (L).
2B: Houston Hodges (P), Damon Howe(P), Kyle Cartwright(P).
Record: Plymouth 5-2, 2-0 NLC.
JV score: Concord 10, Plymouth 3