Same story for Pilgrims in 7-3 loss to Northridge
PLYMOUTH — It was deja vu all over again for the Pilgrims.
Once again the Plymouth baseball team gave up a couple big innings to its opponent and once again defensive miscues made the difference in a 7-3 loss to the Northridge Raiders Wednesday night at Bill Nixon Field.
The Pilgrims wrapped up the their NLC schedule with the loss, sliding to a 6-8 conference finish.
“We still have a lot to play for,” said Plymouth head baseball coach Tony Plothow. “We’ve had kids come in during school and just say ‘Coach, we are just right there’. They know it and they talk about it. After games they are saying the right things. They know they are just small things away from winning games.”
Northridge plated three runs in the top of the first.
Austin Moniot singled up the middle and scored on a Shannon Baker liner that found the outfield grass in left center field as part of a hit-and-run by the Raiders. Baker scored two batters later when Jordan Carithers flied deep to right field for a triple.
Plymouth starting pitcher Chase Peters had a bit of a wild streak over the next three hitters. Back-to-back walks to Brock Logan and T.J. Miller loaded the bases for the Raiders with one out, and Peters hit Alan Grusy in the elbow with a fastball to plate Carithers for a 3-0 Northridge lead. Plymouth escaped further harm in the inning by turning a double play on a ground ball to third baseman Joe Knapp. He threw to Jacob Seagraves at the plate for the first out and then Seagraves fired a strike to Hayden Skirvin at first to complete the 5-2-3 double play and end the treat.
Plymouth tried to play catch-up the rest of the game.
The Pilgrims scratched out an unearned run in the second to cut the lead to two. Ike Kastner led the inning off with a ground ball to short that was thrown wide at first for an error. Trent Briles walked to force Kastner to second base, and he scored two hitters later on a Blake Milliser line drive single to right.
Northridge answered back in the third.
Carithers led the inning off with a high fly ball to right center field. The Plymouth center fielder and right fielder had some communication problems and the ball dropped between them and Carithers advanced to second base on the play. He was moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Logan and scored on Miller’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Plymouth cut the lead to one with a pair of runs in the fourth. Briles swung at a full count pitch and made contact with the catcher’s mitt and was awarded first base on catcher’s interference. Hayden Skirvin took the first pitch he saw in the next at-bat and lined it into left field to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Milliser loaded the bases when he was hit by a Moniot pitch. Peters followed that with a hard-hit ground ball that scored Briles and was bobbled by the Raider shortstop. He was able to get the ball to second base in time to force Milliser out, but the throw to first was errant and allowed Skirvin to cross the plate as well.
Northridge threatened again in the fifth.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Peters had some control problems once again and walked the five, six, and seven hitters in the Raider lineup to load the bases. Plymouth brought in Myles Scott to relieve Peters, and he was able to get a strikeout to end the inning without allowing a run.
Northridge did get to Scott in the sixth, though.
Moniot hit a shallow fly ball that dropped in right center field and Baker grounded one past Briles at second base to put runners at first and second with one out. Blake Fry scored Moniot with a single down the third base line that just got past the outstretched arms of a diving Knapp at third. Carithers hit a ground ball that was snagged by a diving Connor Flynn at short in the next at-bat. Flynn was able to get the force out at second base to put runners on the corners with two outs for the Raiders. Brock doubled to deep right center field that went in-and-out of the glove of Peters to plate the final two Northridge runs of the game.
Peters and Seagraves led the Plymouth attack at the plate with two hits each.
Peters took the loss on the mound for the Pilgrims. The senior righty allowed three earned runs on four Raider hits. He walked five, hit two and struck out three in four and two-thirds of an inning.
“He’s been great for us all year mentally. I think he tries to be too perfect sometimes,” said Plothow of his senior leader on the mound. “He was trying to get guys out himself, and that isn’t what we are built for this year on the mound. We’ve been happy with what he can give us. I know he’s not but even in the first inning we get out of it and we are only down 3-1.”
The Pilgrims end the NLC season with a record of 6-8 and moved to 11-14 on the season with the loss. Northridge clinched the conference championship with the victory.
Plymouth will host sectional foe John Glenn on Friday with a JV-Varsity doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m. The game will be a preview of a Sectional 19 opening round game between the two teams next Thursday.
• NORTHRIDGE 7, PLYMOUTH 2
Northridge: 301 103 0 – 7 8 5
Plymouth: 010 200 0 – 3 7 2
Chase Peters (L), Myles Scott (5) and Jacob Seagraves; Austin Moniot (W) and Jake Baylis
2B: Peters (P), Seagraves (P), Moniot (N), Shannon Baker (N), Brock Logan (N)
3B: Jordan Carithers (N)