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Northville’s flame-thrower, clutch pinch-hitter spoil Plymouth upset bid

 Northville’s flame-thrower, clutch pinch-hitter spoil Plymouth upset bid

Justin Brown struck out 11 Wildcats while allowing just three hits.

Facing the No. 2-ranked team in the state and a University of Michigan-bound pitcher who excites radar guns with his low-90s fastballs, Plymouth’s baseball team came within two outs of posting a season-defining victory Monday afternoon against visiting Northville.

Energized by an electric mound effort from Jacob Wolney, the Wildcats led 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning when — with one one — Mustang first baseman Caden Besco reached on an infield error.

Luke Dieringer followed with a double that hugged the third-base foul line before pinch-hitter Greg Burns greeted reliever Tommy Rose with a no-doubt-about-it double over the left-fielder’s head to plate the tying and go-ahead runs.

Protecting a 3-2 lead, Northville starting pitcher Justin Brown struck out the first Wildcat he faced in the bottom of the seventh before No. 8 batter Charlie Taylor walked.

Mustang Head Coach Dan Cimini summoned closer Besco, who struck out the final two hitters to save the critical victory for the visitors.

Best in the West

With the win, Northville (now 17-4, according to the KLAA sports website) clinched the KLAA West Division title. Plymouth slipped to 5-8 in the division.

Plymouth pitcher Jacob Wolney was exceptional in his Monday afternoon gem against Northville
Plymouth pitcher Jacob Wolney was exceptional in his Monday afternoon gem against Northville

Following an uncharacteristic shaky first inning when he yielded two runs, Brown was lights out over his final 5 1/3 innings of work, yielding just three base runners — an infield single to Austin Morris that took a freaky hop and struck the face of Northville second baseman Connor Vissotski, who was forced to leave the game; a fifth-inning two-out walk to Morris and the free pass to Taylor.

Brown struck out 11 Wildcats — five looking.

Wolney, a lefty, was equally brilliant, allowing just three hits while striking out six against the Mustangs’ potent offense. He also helped his own cause at the plate, delivering a two-run single in the bottom of the first; and with his glove, pouncing on a slow roller between the mound and third-base line in the fifth inning before throwing out Carson Eaton.

‘Cats can’t get Nori out

Carter Jurcisin drops down a bunt.
Carter Jurcisin drops down a bunt

While it was a relatively quiet afternoon for the Mustangs’ bats, lead-off hitter Dante’ Nori made a ton of noise. He doubled, stole third base and scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Nori, one of the top-rated high school players in the United States for this summer’s MLB Draft, reached base his final three plate appearances as well on a hit-by-pitch, opposite-field single and intentional walk.

Nori was the lone Mustang to advance past first base against Wolney over the first six innings.

Dante Nori slides safely into second as Deandrea Parnell awaits the throw from the outfield
Dante Nori slides safely into second as Deandrea Parnell awaits the throw from the outfield

Plymouth lead-off hitter Morris has a nice day at the dish as well, contributing two singles and a walk.

The two teams will square off again Wednesday at Northville.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

Caden Besco struck out the final two batters to register a save
Caden Besco struck out the final two batters to register a save
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Ed Wright

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