Nolan Wosman clubbed a home run over the center-field fence Thursday at Flower City Park and returned to the home dugout with a message for his Palmyra teammates.
Keep the pedal to the metal.
“After I got that down, I came back into the dugout and I was telling all the guys if they want to win this, they need to get up because no one was doing anything,” said Wosman, who finished 3-for-3 with three runs.
The blast, which broke a 1-all tie in the fifth inning, proved to be the difference in a 4-1 victory for Palmyra (8-3) over Monroe City (1-6) in a Clarence Cannon Conference clash.
One inning later, Caden Power took Wosman’s message to heart at the plate. After Jacob Kroeger and Wosman each drew walks, the sophomore unloaded a 2-RBI double to bring them both home and gain much-needed breathing room.
“We just all started finally clicking and working together,” Wosman said. “It would have been better though if it would have came at about the first inning.”
Power tossed the final two innings to earn the save, finishing the work starter Peyton Plunkett began. Plunkett struck out eight batters over five innings while surrendering just one run. He did not allow a hit until the third inning.
In the top of the third, Dawson Shively reached via an infield single for Monroe City before Jordan Bichsel hit a 2-out triple to bring him home and give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
Bichsel started the game on the mound for Monroe City and went 4 1/3 innings. The senior struck out three while allowing two runs to keep his squad in the contest.
“We keep on stressing, hey, be fundamental, stay in the game, and good things happen,” Monroe City coach Derek Vanlandingham said. “Jordan pitched (a great) ballgame tonight, the defense played well behind him and on the offensive side we put the ball in play early.”
Palmyra tied the score in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Plunkett that brought home Wosman.
Monroe City came close to breaking the game open in the fourth when it loaded the bases thanks to a pair of errant Palmyra throws on the infield. But Plunkett buckled down for a strikeout to escape any further trouble.
“We had a few chances where we could’ve capitalized when we had bases loaded, and we can’t leave them stranded,” Vanlandingham said. “But that’s a good ball club. Probably one of the best ball clubs in the conference. If we can compete with those guys day in and day out, we’re going to see a lot of positives come out.”
In the fifth inning, Wosman’s blast snuck over the wall to give Palmyra a 2-1 lead. The home team then loaded the bases to knock Bichsel out of the game but was stopped in its tracks by Monroe City reliever Gavin Lehenbauer, who worked out of the jam thanks to a botched squeeze play and a fly out.
With a 1-run lead intact for Palmyra, the stage was set for Power to seal the deal in more ways than one. He produced the two insurance tallies in the sixth and shut the door with his scoreless, four-strikeout relief appearance.
“He’s got some nasty stuff,” Wosman said of Power. “He doesn’t like to throw all fastballs. He can get a lot of people out. I can tell you one thing, I wouldn’t want to hit against that.”
Despite the victory, Palmyra coach Mark Loman said his team, which committed three errors during the game, must focus on its fielding and not rely on its offense to shoulder the load the rest of the season.
“We’ve had errors all year,” he said. “In a lot of ways, we’re lucky to have the record that we have because our bats have kind of carried us. That’s something you can work on. That’s what we’re going to work on in practice in the morning. We’re just going to take a lot of ground balls.”
Palmyra 4, Monroe City 1
Monroe City 001 000 0 – 1 5 1
Palmyra 001 012 X – 4 6 3
PALMYRA (8-3) – WP: Peyton Plunkett. Top hitters: Nolan Wosman 3-for-3 3 runs, Caden Power 2-for-4 2 RBIs
MONROE CITY (1-6) – LP: Jordan Bichsel. Top hitter: Bichsel 1-for-3 1 RBI 1 walk