Spyders fall to eventual champion Highland in Patriot Classic semifinal

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth entered Sunday’s semifinal game against Highland Post 180 behind an offensive onslaught Saturday when it saw the team collect 23 runs on 20 hits in games against Crawfordsville Post 72 and Three Oaks post 204. However, Highland was the number one seed in the tournament and showed why in a 3-0 victory over the Diamond Spyders en route to the Patriot Classic championship at Bill Nixon Field.
Post 27 was one-hit for the second straight time by Post 180. The first time behind the arm of Anthony Gomez on Friday and on Sunday it was by the powerful arm of Purdue bound southpaw Jordan Minch.
Minch went the distance in the game. He struck out 12 Diamond Spyders in the game while walking two and hitting two. He was perfect through three and two-thirds innings and the lone Post 27 hit came with two outs in the seventh inning off the bat of Nick Latham.
Plymouth starter Sean Liedtky tried to match Minch pitch-for-pitch, but four Post 27 errors proved costly.
The loss knocked Post 27 out of the tournament.
Highland moved on to the championship game where it beat Crown Point Post 20 and became the winners of Post 27’s second annual Patriot Classic.
Plymouth was led offensively overall by Nick Latham.
Latham played three different positions in the tournament, but that didn’t affect his hitting any. The LaPorte grad went 9-for-21 in the tournament for a .429 batting average. He scored five times and knocked in four runs.
Brody Andrews led the team in RBI with seven, and James Hackworth scored eight runs in the tournament.
The pitching staff was anchored by Sean Liedtky’s 13 innings of work.
He led the team in ERA and strikeouts at 3.76 and eight respectively. Tyler Niespodziany had three appearances on the mound and finished with two victories.
Plymouth’s record now stands at 15-10. The Diamond Spyders have a day off today after playing seven games over the last four days. Post 27 returns to action Tuesday at Logansport before returning home to battle Kokomo Post 6 Wednesday.
At Plymouth
Plymouth: 000 000 0 – 0 1 4
Highland: 111 000 x – 3 6 0
WP: Jordan Minch
LP: Sean Liedtky
2B: Colin Mudroncik (H), Nick Christiansen (H)
From Saturday
Plymouth Post 27 opened up day three of the Patriot Tournament with a 10-run-rule, four-inning victory over Post 204 out of Three Oaks, Mich.
The Diamond Spyders got very offensive early in the contest and continued to hit throughout the game. Post 27 plated 14 runs on 13 hits in the game, and all but one starter contributed at least one hit in the winning effort.
Post 27 started the scoring with five runs in the top of the first.
James Hackworth doubled down the line in right field, and Sean Knepper followed it up with a double of his own to put runners at second and third with one out. After an error that scored Hackworth, Nick Latham singled to bring Sean Knepper across the plate for the second run of the inning. Riley Cartwright singled to score Brody Andrews, and Sean Liedtky plated Latham with another single up the middle. A passed ball allowed Cartwright to score to put the Diamond Spyders up 5-0 after half an inning of play.
Plymouth added a three spot in the second inning.
Eric Knepper was hit by a pitch, and Hackworth followed it up with a two-run bomb over the fence in right field. Two hitters later Latham singled and scored on a single by Liedtky to extend the Diamond Spyder lead to eight runs.
Post 27 put up another big inning in the third.
Clayton Adamson walked to start the inning.Wes Burkholder laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line and the Diamond Spyders had runners at first and second with no outs. Eric Knepper came through with his first hit in the game to score Adamson, and Three Oaks made a pitching change. Relief pitcher Ethan Zeiger entered the game and intentionally walked Hackworth to load the bases with no outs. Sean Knepper made them pay for the walk by hitting a two-run scoring single to right field to put the Diamond Spyders up 11-0. Brody Andrews chased that with a single to score another run, and he later scored on a groundout by Liedtky to make the score 14-0 in Post 27’s favor.
Plymouth had a small defensive lapse after the big inning, and it allowed Three Oaks to plate three runs in the bottom of the third before starting pitcher Tanner Andrews was able to shut down the Post 204 threat with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. He took the win on the mound with a 10-run rule shortened complete game allowing only the three third inning runs. He scattered four Post 204 hits and struck out five in the outing.
Offensive contributions came from all over the lineup, but it was Latham and Hackworth who stood out. Latham, the Post 27 left fielder, went 3-for-3 at the plate, drove in two runs and scored three times. Hackworth went 2-for-2 from the designated hitter spot with a double and a home run. He also had two RBI and three runs scored for the Diamond Spyders.
The win put Post 27 at 3-2 in pool play and made for a three way tie to determine seeds for single-elimination tournament. Due to tie breakers Plymouth got the fourth tournament seed and moved on to Play Crawfordsville Post 72 in the first game of the tournament.
At Plymouth
Plymouth: 536 0 – 14 13 2
Three Oaks: 003 0 – 3 4 2
WP: Tanner Andrews
LP: Jimmy Zimmerman
2B: James Hackworth (P), Sean Knepper (P), Calib Dill (TO)
HR: Hackworth (P)
Records: Plymouth 14-9
Plymouth wasn’t sharp defensively in its second game of the day and first of the bracketed portion of the Patriot Tournament, but it was able to squeak by Crawfordsville Post 72 9-5 in a game that ended due to the two-hour time limit after six innings.
The Diamond Spyders committed six errors in the field in the game but were able to erase a couple of those runners on a pair of nice throws from the brothers Knepper to cut down a pair of Crawfordsville runners at the plate.
The younger of the Kneppers got the first chance in the second inning. Back-to-back errors by Post 27 allowed runners at first and third with only one out. Bryce Woodall stepped to the plate and hit a fly ball that was caught by Eric Knepper in shallow center field. Shawn Verhey tagged up and tried to score on the catch but Eric fired a strike to Peter Shepherd who was able to make the tag at the plate to end the inning and keep Post 72 scoreless through two innings.
Sean Knepper was not going to be outdone by his little brother and made his play in the fifth inning.
Mitchell Reeves singled to lead off the inning and two hitters later he moved up to second base after a two-out walk to Timothy Willamson. Woodall stepped up and singled to shallow left. Nick Latham dove to try to catch it but was unable and the ball bounced away. Reeves thought he saw an opportunity to score, but Sean Knepper got to the ball and threw another strike to home plate and Shepherd was again able to make the tag to erase the runner and end the inning.
Post 27 picked up a run in the first, but it was a big fifth inning that put the Diamond Spyders in control of the game.
Shay Hepler led off with a walk and after a successful hit-and-run by Sean Knepper Post 27 had runners at first and third with no outs. James Hackworth was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to load the bases and back-to-back walks to Brody and Tanner Andrews plated the first two Diamond Spyder runs in the inning. Nick Latham welcomed Post 72’s relief pitcher Timothy Williamson to the mound with a run scoring single to left to put his team down one run. Sean Liedtky picked up two more RBIs on the day with a single to left center field that scored Tanner Andrews and Latham to give the Diamond Spyders the lead for good in the game. Shepherd added to the lead in the next at-bat with a double down the right field line that plated two more runs and put Post 27 up 8-5.
Plymouth scored a lone run in the sixth to complete the scoring and pick up the 9-5 victory.
The win moved the Diamond Spyders into the semifinals of the tournament against Highland Post 180.
Tanner Andrews had two hits for Post 27 and Liedtky drove in three for the second game in a row to give him six RBI on the day.
At Plymouth
Plymouth: 100 071 – 9 7 6
Crawfordsville: 004 100 – 5 7 4
WP: Tyler Niespodziany
LP: Timothy Williamson
SV: Wally Dickman
2B: Peter Shepherd (P)
3B: Shawn Battin (C)