Top: Northview senior David Kingery threw a three-hit shutout as the Knights defeated No. 6 ranked Terre Haute North in the semifinals of the Martinsville Sectional on Saturday.
Middle: Northview freshman Andrew Griffin makes a play at third during Saturday's sectional semifinal. Griffin went 2-for-5 in two games with five RBI's a double, a homerun and two walks.
Bottom: Northview players celebrate after Jacob Jones (#30 w/helmet, center) homered in the first inning off of North pitcher Blake Holler.
MARTINSVILLE -- Playing two baseball games in a single day is always a bit tough, winning them is even more difficult. On Saturday the Northview Knights picked up an emotional 4-0 win over No. 6 ranked Terre Haute North in their sectional opener but fell short against the Martinsville Artesians in the title game, 11-9.
The Knights actually had a four run lead with just six outs to go in the game, but back-to-back homeruns, one a grandslam by the Artesians, gave them the lead in the inning before a seventh inning two-run blast by Chris Burpo ended the contest.
"We just ran out of gas," commented Northview coach Gary Witham afterwards. "They had a really good hitting team and we had a tough game this afternoon (vs. North). We didn't have a whole lot of time to rest and it caught up."
The Knights got a gem of a game from senior David Kingery versus the Patriots in the afternoon game.
Kingery threw a complete game three hit shutout and they got a first inning solo homerun from Jacob Jones that gave them a lead they would not relinquish against North.
"David (Kingery) did an outstanding job today," commented Witham. "We talked about stepping up and today he pitched as well as I've seen him throw."
Facing Stanford-bound southpaw Blake Holler, the Knights made Jones blast stand up with some solid defense and some key late inning insurance runs.
Tyler Broady hit a leadoff triple in the fifth inning with the Knights still holding the single run lead, 1-0. He would then come home on a wildpitch to boost the cushion to 2-0.
In the sixth, the Knights put the game away with another pair of runs as T.J. King leadoff with a single before stealing second and Jones added his second hit, a bunt single to move King to third.
After Jones moved into scoring position with a stolen base, Andrew Griffin ripped a two-RBI double to score the pair. The runs solidified the Northview victory and moved the Knights to the sectional title game versus the Artesians who held off Terre Haute South in eight innings.
In the title game, the Knights came back after just a three hour break after playing in what was likely the warmest weather of the season to face a hard hitting Artesian squad playing in what can only be described as a "bandbox" ballpark.
Northview got out to a quick lead with two first inning runs on three walks, an error, a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice fly by Kingery. But Martinsville would respond in a manner that would become commonplace by the end of the game.
With a runner on and two outs, Northview starter C.J. Peters walked Josh Craven to bring up No. 5 hitter Steven Bunton. He would answer with a three-run homerun to put Martinsville ahead and take the wind out of the Northview sails temporarily.
The score remained the same into the fourth inning when Broady knotted the game at 3-all with a homerun to rightcenter. The Knights would add another run in the frame when Peters came around after a walk and an RBI groundout by Kingery.
The Artesians would get the run back on a sac fly of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning and set up the Knights for another power surge.
With the score tied at 4-apiece in the top of the sixth inning, back-to-back singles by Ryan Herbert and Ryan Hayes got Northview started in the inning.
With two outs after a fielder's choice grounder by King, Jacob Jones hit a grounder to Martinsville's shortstop who tossed to second for the force, however, the ball was bobbled and pinchrunner Shane Cooper scored, leaving two on for Griffin.
After striking out his previous two at-bats, Griffin did not disappoint this time, hammering a pitch down the leftfield line and well beyond the fence to put Northview ahead 8-4.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the lead was shortlived.
With one out, a slicing liner to centerfield by Eric Bolin got him to first base on an error and Jason Boren responded with a single followed by a walk to Tony Callis.
Peters was then relieved by King on the mound, but he would have little luck as Joe Carter followed with a grandslam to center that tied the score. Catcher Jon-Erik Bennett then put the Artesians ahead with another homerun as Martinsville came back to lead 9-8.
Down to their last three outs, the Knights responded with a gutty run scoring inning as Kingery leadoff the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Broady then reached first and Kingery moved to third on a grounder that was thrown away on a force attempt at second. Peters brought the run home with a fielder's choice grounder.
The run, again tied the score and put the ball back in Martinsville's court. This time though they delivered the final blow, this one by the hand of Burpo.
After John Wells walked to leadoff the inning, Burpo ripped the game winning homerun off of Peters who had been re-inserted on the mound. The shot was the sixth homerun in the game and ended the Northview season at 23-7 overall.
"We could have collapsed (after falling behind in the sixth inning) but we fought back and tied it up," said Witham. "I think the kids showed a lot of heart today. We just came up a little short."
Martinsville will face Jeffersonville on Saturday at Evansville Bosse in regional play.
Martinsville Baseball Sectional
2B -- Northview (none), Martinsville (Carter). HR -- Northview (Griffin, Broady), Martinsville (Carter, Bennett, Bunton, Burpo).
WP -- Boren
LP -- Peters (7-1)
Martinsville Baseball Sectional
2B -- Northview (Griffin). 3B -- Northview (Broady). HR -- Northview (Jones).
WP -- Kingery (8-1)
LP -- Holler (7-3)