Knights pound out baseball win over Mustangs
ELLETTSVILLE -- The Northview Knights knocked the cover of the baseball at Edgewood High School on Tuesday night. But it took two big strike outs by Brady Shoemaker the preserve the Knights' 9-6 Western Indiana Conference high school baseball victory.
Edgewood had runners on first and second, with the tying run at bat when Shoemaker moved from rightfield to the pitcher's mound.
The righthander walked the first batter he faced, loading the bases.
Facing the game-winning run twice, Shoemaker caught one Edgewood batter watching the third straight and struck out the next batter swinging.
"I thought Shoey came in when the pressure was on and got two big outs there at the end," Northview coach Gary Witham said.
Northview [16-3, 9-2], pounded out 15 hits, led the top of batting order -- T.J. King, Shane Cooper, Shoemaker and Ryan Nees. They accounted for 11 of the Knights' hits, including nine doubles, nine RBI and scored six runs.
King was 4-5 at bat with three doubles and three RBI and Nees was 3-4 with three doubles and three RBI. Shoemaker was 2-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles, three RBI and scored two runs and Cooper was 2-4 with one double and three runs scored.
"That's why we bat them up there, because they can hit," Witham said.
And in the nine hole, Jesse Johnson was 2-3 and scored twice.
But with 15 hits and nine extra-base hits, Witham felt the Knights should have scored more runs.
"We didn't score very many runs, considering [the number of hits]. We have 15, 16, 17 hits, something like that, and score nine runs. That's not bad, but we left a lot of runners (eight) on [base]," Witham said.
Northview led all the way as Cooper, Shoemaker and Nees hit back-to-back-to-back doubles into the outfield gaps during a two-run first inning.
After scoring single runs in the third and fourth, the Knights opened a 8-2 lead with a four-run sixth inning.
Pinch-hitter Sean Brackney started the Knights' sixth with a single and raced to second on an error. Brackney moved to third on Johnson's sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by King.
King advanced to second on a single by Cooper and both scored on Shoemaker's second double of the game. And Shoemaker came home on Nees's third two-base hit of the contest.
But Northview's pitcher continued to struggle. Nick Wells, the winning pitcher, left after four innings. King pitched one-plus innings, then freshman Curtis Peters got his first taste of varsity pressure and took the Knights into the seventh when Shoemaker finished it.
"We wanted to get [Peters] a little bit of varsity experience. He didn't do a bad job. They hit him a couple of times, but it's really the first time he's had any pressure on him," Witham said.
Wells, King (5), Peters (6), Shoemaker (7) and Trout; Dombrowsky, Humphrey (6) and May, Parrish (2). W -- Wells (6-1). L -- Dombrowsky (1-5). Sv -- Shoemaker. LOB -- Nv 8, Ew 8. 2B -- King (3), Nees (3), Shoemaker (2), Cooper, Lay (2).
Next game: Northview [16-3, 9-2 in WIC] will host Edgewood [7-11, 3-4] on Wednesday.