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  • Val T.

Hunting has 2 hits, RBI, but Plymouth beats ‘flat’ Zebras

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Carson Paulik

Matt Manzuk homered and pitched a seven-hitter to lead the Plymouth baseball team to a 4-2 win over host Rochester at Bob Copeland Field Tuesday.

Cam Shively also homered for Plymouth, who improved to 2-3. Trey Hall contributed an RBI single and also scored a run during a two-run third inning in which Plymouth took the lead for good. That inning included a balk from Rochester pitcher Tanner Reinartz that pushed the go-ahead run home.

Luke Hunting had two hits and an RBI for the Zebras, who fell to 3-2. Carson Paulik doubled and scored a run at the plate and held Plymouth to one run over three innings of relief on the mound.

Rochester was coming off a three-game stretch at the Howard County Invitational last weekend in which they scored 31 runs in three games. But this time, they were limited to seven hits, and Manzuk thwarted every scoring opportunity, leaving seven Zebras on base.

Rochester’s best chance at making a comeback might have occurred in the fifth. Trailing 4-1, a Gavin Young single, an Ethan Medina forceout, a Tarick McGlothin bunt single and a Brayden Zink hit by pitch loaded the bases for Jake Seuferer.

Seuferer reached on an error when the Plymouth third baseman threw wildly to first after Seuferer hit a grounder his way. Medina scored on the play to make it 4-2, and that reloaded the bases for Paulik, who had doubled and walked in his previous two plate trips.

This time, Manzuk won the battle with the Zebras freshman, getting him on a comebacker to the mound to retire the side.

Hunting then singled with one out in the sixth, but Manzuk struck out Young and got Medina on a grounder to first.

Manzuk then pitched a perfect seventh, getting McGlothin on a grounder to short, Tanner Reinartz on a fly to right and pinch-hitter Colton Ferverda on a called third strike.

“We came out flat today, just weren’t really ready, I don’t think,” Rochester coach Cory Good said. “Kinda sensed it early. Tried getting some energy going, giving them a little bit of excitement. But a couple plays here and there, two home runs, we balk in a run, just not our best today.”

Rochester scored first in the second when Paulik doubled with one out, advanced to third on Hunter Campbell’s grounder to short and scored on Hunting’s line single to center.

Plymouth responded in the following half-inning off Reinartz, who was making his first start since pitching a five-inning no-hitter against Eastern (Greentown) on Friday.

Kaden Milliser walked and stole second. Reinartz struck out Koan Deon and Preston Wolfe, but Hall’s seeing-eye grounder up the middle found its way to center field for an RBI single.

Hall stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Ryan Jolly then walked to out runners on first and third.

Reinartz then whirled and faked a throw towards Jolly at first and was called for a balk, which scored Hall and gave Plymouth a 2-1 lead.

There might have been a miscommunication on the Rochester side, according to Good.

“So if you step all the way off and fake, you can fake it, but if you jump-turn, you’ve got to go,” Good explained. “And that was the case. It was a full-count, two outs. I had brought Luke (Hunting, the first baseman) off to go play defense. Tanner comes off, doesn’t see anybody there and just holds it. So bad timing on all ends. Obviously, a huge crucial mistake there, but something we’ll clean up in the future.”

Plymouth made it 3-1 on Manzuk’s solo homer off Reinartz in the fourth and 4-1 on Shively’s solo shot off Paulik in the fifth. The game was played in unusually warm mid-April conditions, and the wind might have helped push both balls over the fence and onto 18th Street.

Both Manzuk and Shively are seniors, and neither had homered in a varsity game prior to Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Manzuk continued to generate soft contact from Rochester hitters.

“He threw his change-up really well,” Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe said. “He got a lot of ground balls tonight. His change-up is right out of the same arm slot as his fastball, and we throw it a lot and had them out in front. The other thing is we wanted to get the first guy out every inning. They’re very athletic, and we knew they’d go on the bases, so we did a good job of getting the lead-off guy out. It takes a lot of things out of play if you get the lead-off guy out.”

Plymouth 4, Rochester 2

Plymouth 002 110 0 – 4 4 1

Rochester 010 010 0 – 2 7 0

WP – Matt Manzuk (7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K)

LP – Tanner Reinartz (4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K)

2B – Carson Paulik (RHS)

HR – Matt Manzuk (PLY), Cam Shively (PLY)


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