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Knights overwhelm Golden Bears 15 to 3 in regional at Shelbyville

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

SHELBYVILLE -- -- A Northview Knights high school baseball season that seemed almost dead a month ago after the Big-4 Tournament reached new heights Tuesday night in the Class 4A Regional at Shelbyville High School.

Putting together an awesome display of hitting and power hitting at the same time, Northview overwhelmed the host Shelbyville Golden Bears 15-3 to capture their first Class 4A high school baseball regional championship.

Ryan Nees hit two home runs, Brady Shoemaker drove in six runs with a grand slam and triple and Jesse Johnson tripled to bring in three runs in Northview's 13-hit attack.

"It feels great. Everybody played good. That's what happens when everybody plays good like that. We put it on them," Shoemaker said as family nd friends snapped pictures on Shelbyville's Arthur Barnett Field.

Northview [26-3] plays the winner of the Center Grove-Indianapolis Cathedral regional game in the Evansville Semistate at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bosse Field.

"That's going to be a huge game. We're all going to be excited all week. We're going to practice hard for the rest of the week and hopefully we come out and play good," Shoemaker said.

From the opening pitch, Northview was in control of the game. The Knights, visitors on the scoreboard, gave winning pitcher Nick Wells a three-run lead in the first inning and it was never close.

"One of the things I really like about this group is they're all business when the ball game starts. There are some clowns in here, we have a good time. But when the game starts they're all business," Northview Coach Gary Witham said."Tonight you couldn't have asked them to be much more business-like. From that opening pitch they were ready to play. They hit the ball a ton. Just shellshocked Shelbyville I thought."

T.J. King and Nees reached base on errors in the first inning and Shane Cooper singled, loading the bases for Graig Bass, who walked to bring in the first run. Then with a full-count, Johnson ripped a triple down the first base line to bring in three runs.

"That was huge to get off to a good start like that. That was big," Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker made it 8-0 in the second inning with the grand slam over the 350-mark in left-center field. Wade Thacker started the inning with a single, King was hit by a pitch and Cooper's fly ball to right field was dropped. That was all for Shelbyville starting pitcher Jim Peck.Shoemaker ripped the first pitch by Shelbyville's Aaron Blain over the leftfield fence.

"A fastball right down the middle and I took a hack," the senior said.

Northview's fast start took the pressure off Wells on the mound, but the 6-foot-8 righthander was never real sharp. He went 31/3 innings before Shoemaker came on in relief in the fourth. Michael Stuckey pitched the sixth and got the final put at home plate after throwing a wild pitch.

"We wanted to get 4 innings out of (Wells). We didn't quite get it," Witham said.

Shelbyville (18-9) scored two runs in the fourth inning and Northview started coasting. But the Knights erupted for four runs on four hits. If the game wasn't over before it was after the fifth.

"We had one but then we kind of slipped about the third or fourth inning, kind of lost some of our momentum. We just picked it back up and came back," Nees said.

King and Cooper started the Northview fifth with back-to-back singles and Shoemaker followed with a triple to score both. Shelbyville changed pitchers again and the first pitch to Nees went to the backstop allowing Shoemaker to score from third. Nees then ripped a solo home run making it 12-3.

Nees put the contest away with a three-run homer to the opposite field in the sixth.

"Got a fastball high on the first one and just got a hold of it. The second one was just outside. I didn't think I got it," Nees said.

Northview goes back to work Wednesday preparing for the toughest competition of the season in the semistate.

Northview 440 043 15 13 2

Shelbyville 002 100 3 3 3

Wells, Shoemaker (4), Stuckey and Trout, Edrington (6); Peck, Blain (2), Myers (5) and Ross. W -- Wells. L -- Peck. LOB -- NHS 9, SHS 9. HR -- Shoemaker, Nees (2). 3B -- Shoemaker, Johnson.

Next game: Northview (26-3) plays in the Evansville North Class 4A Semistate at Bosse Field at 1 p.m. against the winner of the Center Grove-Indianapolis Cathedral game.

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