Plymouth struggles at NorthWood

NAPPANEE — Three sixth inning runs were the difference as Plymouth (10-13) dropped a Northern Lakes Conference road decision at NorthWood (11-6) by a 5-2 final.
Facing NorthWood senior Tommy Klem for the second time this season, the Pilgrims had a better idea of how to approach their at-bats, recovering from a 2-0 early deficit to tie the game in the fourth. Blake Cleveland’s two-run single in the third gave the Panthers an early lead.
“That kid’s (Klem) a senior and a heck of a pitcher, and I thought we did a good job of laying off some pitches, hitting fastballs and making adjustments,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “That’s what it’s about each and every at-bat — make an adjustment and get better.
Plymouth fought back with a solo homer by Blake Milliser in the fourth and a plated run another on an error in the fifth to knot the game. Two crucial errors in the next inning would be the Pilgrims’ undoing as three NorthWood runs plated in the sixth, all off starter Jacob Frantz.
“He (Frantz) pitched another good game, his last three or four outings he’s pitched well enough to win,” said Wolfe. “We’re playing these last two games against some very good teams in our conference, and I feel good where we’re at. We expect to win. I think it took us awhile to get there, but I think we are.”
Frantz gave up just four hits in the game and two earned runs while striking out three and walking two in a third straight solid outing. Klem gave up just four hits for his part and struck out seven, but the Pilgrims were with it to the last at-bat.
“They understand that every pitch, every play the ball may get hit to them,” said Wolfe. “That may go back to some little league stuff. It may sound easy, but sometimes it isn’t so easy when you have to go out there and do it.”
The Pilgrims are back at Bill Nixon Field on Tuesday with a game against CMA.
At Nappanee
Plymouth: 000 110 0 —  2 4 3
NorthWood: 002 003 x —  5 4 2
Jacob Frantz (L, 3-3) and Jarrod Ellis; Tommy Klem (W) and Tanner Cleveland.
2B: Blake Milliser (P)
HR: Milliser (P)