Pilgrims top Glenn; Eagles fall to Indians at Plymouth Sectional

PLYMOUTH — The big inning made all the difference at the Plymouth Baseball Sectional Thursday.
St. Joseph’s plated four runs in the fifth inning to take a comfortable lead over Culver Military on the way to a 10-4 win in the opener, and Plymouth snapped a 2-2 tie with five runs in the third inning on the way to a 7-2 win over John Glenn in the nightcap at Bill Nixon Field.
The Pilgrims advance to play Jimtown at 11 a.m. Monday, while St. Joe will play Marian in a game following with the championship scheduled for 8 p.m.
PLYMOUTH 7,
JOHN GLENN 2
Trent Briles was hit by a pitch leading off the fourth, an error on an intended sacrifice bunt allowed Hayden Skirvin to reach first safely, and Blake Milliser drew a walk from Glenn starter Mark Einhorn to load the bases with none out and set the table for Plymouth’s big inning.
Chase Peters put a ball in play to short that was mishandled to score Briles and put the Pilgrims ahead 3-2, Joe Knapp singled in both Skirvin and Milliser, and Connor Flynn drew a walk to reload the bases with the hosts up 5-2. Jacob Segraves and Ike Kastner tapped out back-to-back RBI singles, driving in Peters and Knapp, and Plymouth took a commanding 7-2 lead that wound up becoming the final score.
“I thought we had some good situational hitting after taking advantage of a couple mistakes,” said Plymouth head coach Tony Plothow. “They answered back to tie it, and then we come back and get those five runs. From there, I felt like Jordan (Scheetz) had control. What a job he did on the mound tonight. The bottom of the order really came through tonight with situational hitting and really putting the pressure on them. And the top should feel very fortunate they get another chance to play after they didn’t have the kind of night they want to have and that we look forward to them having. Survive and advance, and here we get to play on Monday against a good Jimtown team. We felt good tonight with what we did just to advance.”
“That inning was a hit batter, error, a walk and then another error so we shot ourselves in the foot. We gave them a big inning, and they didn’t have a ball past short,” said Glenn head coach John Nadolny. “That’s kind of the way it’s been the last 10 games for us. I thought our kids fought pretty good… it was just tough to fight back from that inning.”
Plymouth pitcher Scheetz went the distance on the mound, striking out 10 with a walk and a hit batter while giving up five hits. Glenn’s first hit of the night came in its first at-bat as Josh Anderson homered to left to put Glenn up 1-0, but Scheetz composed himself quickly, scattering four hits over the next 28 at-bats.
“My teammates were behind me tonight,” said Scheetz. “A few minor errors but nothing big. I thought I pitched pretty well, and we got a lot of hits to help us out.”
“We need support every game we play,” he added. “So the fans need to come out.”
Plymouth answered in the bottom of the first when Kastner drew a leadoff walk, Riley Cartwright doubled, and Briles singled into shallow left to score Kastner and knot the score at 1-all. Cartwright scored on a one-out sac fly from Milliser to put Plymouth up 2-1, but it didn’t last long.
Glenn’s Justin Gierlowski was hit by a pitch with two out in the bottom of the third, and a single by David Jaworski and subsequent error in center allowed Gierlowski to score the tying run.
The Plymouth-Glenn outcome Thursday was foreshadowed by a 10-9 regular-season decision last Friday at Bill Nixon Field.
“It’s a bigger game. We both threw off knowing that we were going to see each other a few days later,” said Plothow. “It’s one of those things where Coach Nadolny knows that they had one bad inning where if they field a bunt, they field a ball, who knows what happens and then it’s gut-check time all the way the rest of the game. Anything can happen in a tournament. We were just very fortunate to take advantage. It was comfortable from the standpoint that we had a lead going into the last couple innings, but in the tournament it’s never comfortable.”
Glenn bids goodbye to seniors Anderson, in his first year with the team, Jon Stewart, Tom Knape and Charlie Dreessen.
“Jon, Charlie and Tom are all Academic All-State, and Josh is such a talented kid. They’re great kids, and they’re going to be missed,” said Nadolny. “It’s tough to see the end of their athletic careers here at Glenn. They’re three-sporters. It’s never a good ending unless you’re down at state, but they had nice careers for us, they’re classy kids, good academics, they’re going to do well in their post-John Glenn era, and I’m just proud to be associated with them.”
• PLYMOUTH 7,
JOHN GLENN 2
At Plymouth Sectional
Plymouth: 020 500 0 — 7 8 2
Glenn: 101 000 0 — 2 5 2
Jordan Scheetz (W), Mark Einhorn (L), Tyler Niespodziany (4)
2B: Connor Flynn (P)
HR: Josh Anderson (JG)
Records: Glenn 16-13 (final), Plymouth 14-14

ST. JOSEPH’S 10,
CULVER MILITARY 4
The Eagles and St. Joe battled back and fourth and were tied up at 4-all until a four-run outburst by the Indians on a pair of costly CMA errors in the bottom of the fifth.
Brad Hartman drew a leadoff walk, Evan Witsken singled, and a throwing error by Eagles reliever Frank Vessels to third for the hard out on a bunt back to the mound allowed both to score with none out. Vessels got two outs in the next two at-bats, but Sid Leda kept things going for the Indians with an RBI single on a slow roller to third before another error and a single from Tyler Beck plated two more runs and forced CMA head coach Kurt Christiansen to replace Vessels with Cole Grandel, who got the third out after the Indians had taken an 8-4 lead that proved too much to come back from.
“We knew we needed to play well in all phases of the game,” said Christiansen. “We didn’t make the routine play behind some competitive pitching. That put us in a pretty big hole that was tough to get out of. Our pitchers did pretty well against a pretty good hitting lineup. It’s tough to shut their bats down when we’d get behind in the count. Our kids battled, we just didn’t make the plays when we needed to.”
Eagles starter Kyle Bartelman led off the game with a double and was driven home on an RBI single from Trent Kolden in the top of the first, but St. Joe answered back in the bottom half as Pat Klima drew a leadoff walk, and Patrick Korman singled him home with two outs.
Kevan Bjornson singled and reached third on a pair of errors in the top of the second, then scored on a Bartelman groundout to first to put CMA on top once more, 2-1.
But the lead didn’t last long as Michael Madden sent a solo shot out to left-center in the bottom of the inning. St. Joe took its first lead in the third when Klima reached on an error, Hartman and Witsken singled and an error in right allowed both Hartman and Witsken to score, giving St. Joe a 4-2 advantage.
CMA responded with a two-run fifth, as Anthony McHugh singled into shallow center, and Kolden cranked a two-run homer straight out over center to retie the game at 4-all.
But St. Joe reliever Jake Stone came took over for Connor Brown in the fifth and pitched three shutout innings while giving up just two hits and no walks.
“We did a pretty good job putting together some quality at-bats, in some spots anyway,” Christiansen said. “But you can’t make five errors and win a sectional game, not against a team like St. Joe.”
CMA closes the season with a winning record of 12-10 and bids farewell to seniors Vessels, Bjornson, Ralph Laux, Kieran Smith and Bryan Espiritu.
“It was sort of an up-and-down spring, but I’ve got a lot to be proud of,” said Christiansen. “Our kids battled every night and tried to play their best game every night. At times we played at a very high level, and that’s to their credit for staying the course. We’ve got a nice senior class… That’ll be tough to replace, but at the same time those guys are complemented by a host of underclassmen that we bring back. In a lot of ways it feels like the last few years we’re starting to set the tone as a program where we’re going to be competitive day-in and day-out.”
• ST. JOSEPH’S 10, CULVER MILITARY 4
At Plymouth Sectional
CMA: 110 020 0 — 4 9 5
St. Joe: 112 042 x — 10 12 2
Connor Brown, Jake Stone (5, W); Kyle Bartelman, Frank Vessels (5, L), Cole Grandel (5), Perley Provost (6).
2B: Bartelman (CMA)
HR: Trent Kolden (CMA), Michael Madden (SJ)
REcords: CMA 12-10 (final)