PLYMOUTH — It was deja vu all over again as the big inning made all the difference in each of Plymouth’s losses at its home regional Saturday.
At the end of a back-and-forth battle between Post 27 and South Bend Post 50 in an extra-inning contest at Bill Nixon Field Saturday morning, South Bend tied it up in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out, two-strike RBI single by Alex Kohler and took the lead for good with a seven-inning 10th frame to trump Plymouth 18-13.
In the loser’s bracket, Post 27 battled it out through seven more nip-tuck innings with Bristol Post 161 but ultimately succumbed 13-6 after a six-run eighth by the visitors in the nightcap.
“The eighth inning killed us,” said Post 27 head coach Tony Plothow. “We couldn’t find the strike zone. We had a lot of kids tired today. We battled back. No excuse, everybody is doing the same thing, but it was tough having that 10 inning loss in the morning game and then trying to come back and playing a little bit for pride, and we just couldn’t get it done.
“We just came up short, not with effort, but with talent and energy a little bit today.”
After James Hackworth’s three-hitter in the regional opener Friday night, Post 27 ran out of pitching trying to get it done by committee in both of its losses on a sweltering Saturday.
Sean Liedtky gave up just four runs through five innings in the morning game, and Plymouth took a 7-4 lead with five runs in the bottom of the fifth before a three-run sixth by South Bend tied the game up for the second time. Post 27 plated four more in the bottom of the seventh but Jacob Eaton surrendered three runs in the seventh and Cory Krider gave up the tying run in the top of the ninth to force extra innings before Post 50’s big 10th.
Jordan Scheetz kept Plymouth in the second game as he surrendered seven runs off 10 hits through seven innings, but Ben Saliwanchik struggled with his command taking over in the eighth, walking five batters and hitting another to score four two-out Bristol runs before Aaron Christenberry moved over from first with the bags loaded. T.J. Miller looped a two-run single into shallow center to scratch out Post 161’s final runs and put the game effectively out of reach.
Plymouth closes its season at a creditable 19-16, including a second-place finish at its first annual Patriot Tournament over the 4th of July weekend. The team bids goodbye to Christenberry, third baseman Sean Rogers, catcher Kyle Cartwright, pitcher Cory Krider and short stop Evan Jurjevic, who was sidelined throughout the regional with a sore throwing arm.
“These guys have battled all year. We had a nice little winning streak at the beginning of the season getting ready for the tournaments and had some good action at the tournaments we played in,” said Plothow.
“We look back and we’ve had a lot of fun with these guys; we’re going to be sorry to see some of these guys go. We built a lot of good relationships with other schools, and I know the kids do. We’re going to start next year with a new team, but we’re going to be sorry to see some of these guys — two and three-year players for us — not come back.”
Krider and Chase Peters each doubled for Plymouth in the morning game Saturday, while Sean Knepper doubled and Brody Andrews homered in the nightcap.
• BRISTOL POST 161 13,
PLYMOUTH POST 50 6
Bristol: 300 120 160 — 13 13 1
Plymouth: 210 012 000 — 6 10 2
Connor Slabaugh, Ronnie Hawkins (W, 6), Seth Huxford (8) and Travis Pickard; Jordan Scheetz (L), Ben Saliwanchik (8), Aaron Christenberry (8) and Kyle Cartwright.
2B: Hawkins (SB), Sean Knepper ℗.
HR: Brody Andrews ℗.
• SOUTH BEND POST 50 18,
PLYMOUTH POST 127 13, 10 INNINGS
South Bend: 200 023 031 7 — 18 21 3
Plymouth: 002 050 400 2 — 13 19 3
Dominick Romans, Cody Tharp (6), Zach Dashner (9), Devon Bailey (10, W, 1-0) and Robert Heritz; Sean Liedtky, Jacob Eaton (6), Cory Krider (9, L) and Nick Latham.
2B: Bailey (SB) 3, Joey McCombs (SB) 2, Heritz (SB); Krider (P), Chase Peters (P).