PLYMOUTH — While Plymouth’s Pilgrims took a step forward, they still took only a split as they were able to shut out Fort Wayne Wayne by a 6-0 final but fell in the final to Penn 11-4 at their home tourney Saturday.
Ft. Wayne Wayne 0
Jacob Frantz was masterful in a four-hit shut out as Plymouth took a game one Plymouth Tourney win over Ft. Wayne Wayne (5-10) by a final of 6-0.
Frantz threw just 90 pitches, walked one and struck out two in a masterpiece that propelled the Pilgrims into a finals match-up with Penn, who beat Ft. Wayne Carroll by a 3-2 score in the day’s first game. Frantz helped his own cause with a pair of hits and an RBI.
“I knew he had it in him, and it was a matter of being confident and getting ahead in the count and doing things that he knows how to do and knew he was supposed to do,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “He’s not going to throw 100 miles an hour, but if he throws his fastball where he wants it, he had everybody out in front of it. Hopefully we can count on him the rest of the year for that.”
Shortstop Justin Drudge had a pair of hits and RBIs for the Pilgrims, Spencer Maecroft had a pair of hits and RBIs, and Bailey Clark had two hits including a double.
“We talked to our pitchers about that,” said Wolfe. “The whole team kind of feeds off you. The feeling you get when you’re in a groove, how fast you work, the rhythm you get into everybody is there with you and that showed in this game.”
Penn 11, Plymouth 4
For several innings it appeared the Pilgrims (7-10) might pull off the upset over Penn’s Kingsmen (14-4) but after jumping out to a 2-0, lead three straight hits by Penn’s number seven, eight and nine hitters coupled with a Plymouth error plated three and took away the Plymouth momentum.
“We had that evil second inning again,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “Riley (Cartwright) gave us what he could, his arm’s been sore and then Braydon (Davidson) after he threw 80 pitches last night I didn’t know how much he’d have left, but he wanted to start.
“I love that out of a kid, and I thought George (Stults ) did a good job coming in there. That’s our future out there. I was proud of them.”
A long week of NLC games behind and ahead in the coming week, the Pilgrims’ arms were running thin against top 10-ranked Penn. It still took the Kingsmen until late in the game to gain control of the final.
“They bunted a little bit and we didn’t make some plays, and that coupled into some runs,” said Wolfe. “It’s not that we aren’t in the right spot; it’s making the play, and I guess that’s a good thing. We’re in the right spots; we just have to make those plays, especially against good teams like this.
“I thought we grew up a lot today. We’re doing a lot of good things. We’ve got a lot of kids that are starting to believe in themselves, the chemistry as a team is starting to get there where they believe in each other, and that’s almost more important than believing in themselves. We’re growing up.”
Riley Cartwright got the start and went into the third inning before being relieved by Braydon Davidson. George Stults came on in the sixth to finish the game and suffered from three Plymouth errors, giving up just two earned runs.
Davidson and Trent Briles drove home the first inning Plymouth runs, but the Pilgrims couldn’t score again until Justin Drudge’s sac fly in the fifth. Jacob Frantz added a double for Plymouth, who struggled to get anything going offensively for most of the game against Dave Thoma and Penn reliever Kody Green.
Plymouth takes the road for an NLC battle at Warsaw on Monday.
FORT WAYNE WAYNE 0
Wayne: 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Plymouth: 020 130 x — 6 13 0
Kaine Jackson (L 1-2) and Joey Brown; Jacob Frantz (W 1-2) and Elijah Nixon.
2B: Bailey Clark (P).
PENN 11, PLYMOUTH 4
Penn: 030 114 2 — 11 12 0
Plymouth: 200 020 0 — 4 7 5
Dave Thoma (W 1-0), Kody Green (5) and Cole Deneen; Riley Cartwright (L 0-4), Braydon Davidson (3), George Stults (5) and Elijah Nixon.
2B: Steven Smallwood (Penn), Jacob Frantz (Plymouth).