- Northview rallies for four runs in last at-bat for victory -
The Northview Knights are beginning to make a living out of late inning heroics this season.
The Class 4A 9th-ranked Knights used a four run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 6-5 victory over the Shakamak Lakers on Wednesday night.
The rally was the third in four games for the Knights who advanced to 6-0 this season.
On April 6, the Knights scored eight runs with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to erase a 5-3 deficit for an 11-6 win. Saturday afternoon in the tail end of a twinbill with South Putnam, the Knights fell behind 6-1 through the Eagles half of the fourth frame before rallying for a 10-8 win.
Wednesday's win might be the most impressive rally thus far for the Knights.
First of all, the Lakers came into the game as the Class A No. 4 team in the state with a 3-1 mark and looked to be cruising along behind hard throwing lefthander Ryan Wilson.
The Lakers put a quick three spot on the board in the first inning by getting a leadoff double from Tyler Rehmel and taking advantage of an error to put runners on the corners. The Lakers loaded the bases with a walk before Steve McNabb singled home the first Laker run off Northview lefthander Michael Stuckey.
Sean Slaughter added a two RBI single to rightfield to make the score 3-0.
The Knights came back for a run of their own in the first using a T.J. King single and a stolen base before Shane Cooper sacrificed him to third and an error on a Brady Shoemaker grounder scored the first Northview run.
The Knights added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning but the Lakers would put another two runs on the board in the fifth inning as Derek Collins nailed a double to leadoff the inning before Tyler Rehmel followed with a single and moved to second on an error. Jared Rehmel brought home a run with an RBI groundout and an RBI flyout by Matt Hill made the score 5-2.
Wilson had skirted trouble throughout the game with the Knights leaving eight baserunners stranded through five innings.
The sixth inning however was the key for the Knights and an error was once more an aid to the rally.
Jesse Johnson reached first as his slow grounder to the pitcher was bobbled, allowing him to reach base with one out. King earned his third hit of the game with an infield single to shortstop and Shane Cooper reached on another infield single to load the bases.
Shoemaker ripped an RBI single to score Johnson and Ryan Nees brought home the tying run with a two-run single, just under the Laker's second baseman's glove, to score King and Cooper.
The hit brought Craig Trout to the plate with the score knotted, one out and runners on the corners.
"I was thinking when I got up there that I hadn't had a hit all game," commented Trout of the pressure packed at-bat. "I was just trying to put one in play and hit a deep fly but I got just enough on it."
Trout blooped a single just between the Laker's rightfielder and firstbaseman to bring him the Knights' sixth run of the night and give them their first lead.
"It's nice to be able to come from behind," said Northview coach Gary Witham. "Give our kids credit for that, but (Wilson) threw pretty hard. He's a really good pitcher."
Tyler Rehmel came in to relieve Wilson and got the Lakers out of the inning but the damage was done. The Knights scored four runs on six hits and an error to take a 6-5 lead.
But good teams don't give up and the Lakers are no exception.
After Stuckey struckout the leadoff batter, Tyler Rehmel singled to leftfield to get the Lakers off to a strong start. Jared Rehmel followed with a walk that brought Northview's Nick Wells out of the bullpen.
Wells added a little more gasoline to the fire when he walked Jared Utterback to load the bases with one out, but he responded by striking out Hill and coaxing a groundout from McNabb to end the game.
"Our defense was a little bit sloppy tonight," commented Trout afterwards. "(Shakamak) always has an awesome team. We've got a lot of respect for them, but it's my senior year and we really wanted to come out with a win."
Shoemaker, Shane Cooper and Wade Thacker each had two hit game's for Northview with King adding three.
The Knights will return to action in a doubleheader on Saturday at Brown County beginning at 11 a.m.
2B -- Sh (T.Rehmel, Collins), Nv (none). SB -- Nv (King, Cooper).
JV -- Northview 12, Shakamak 1
|Stuckey W 2-0||6.1||5||3||5|
|Wilson L (1-2)||5.1||6||10||4||5|