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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Big innings propel Knights to season opening victory

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Carey Fox photo

Graig Bass rips a 3-run double during the second inning of a 10-6 season opening win for Northview.

A pair of big innings were enough to overcome a bit of shaky defense for the Northview baseball team in a season opening 10-6 victory over Owen Valley on Tuesday evening.

Northview put together a six run second inning with Graig Bass and Keaton Robertson providing the big punches in the frame.

The Knights were also able to take advantage of some wildness by Patriots' starting pitcher Ryan Hobbs who walked Sean Brackney and John Reberger to open the second inning. After Hobbs coaxed Cody Crooks to pop up for the first out, Robertson hit into a force play that erased Brackney at third base, but Hobbs walked No. 9 hitter Curt Peters to load the bases.

Chase Yocom came through with the first big hit to get the Knights on the board, lacing a two-run single to center field, scoring Reberger and Robertson.

"I thought we hit the ball pretty well," commented coach Gary Witham of his Northview squad. "We hit some balls pretty hard tonight."

Jesse Johnson kept the inning rolling with an infield single that reloaded the bases and brought Bass to the plate.

The senior first baseman put the icing on a six run second inning by drilling a double to the fence that cleared the bases, the first of two extra base hits for Bass.

Peters, who got the start on the mound for the Knights, got through the first two innings unscathed before a couple of third inning hits plated the first run for Owen Valley.

Leading 6-1, the Knights added some insurance in the fourth inning as Bass drilled his second double of the game to lead off the inning before Brackney was hit by a pitch.

Owen Valley got two outs in the inning before Crooks smacked and RBI double to score Bass to make the score 7-1.

Robertson then stepped to the plate and brought the crowd to their feet by hammering a 3-run home run to push the advantage to 10-1 for the Knights.

"(Keaton's) pretty young and he's got the catching duties so we put him down at the No. 8 spot in the lineup. He can hit though and he's only a sophomore. Our bottom (lineup) guys got on base quite a few times," commented Witham.

Peters came out of the game after four innings, allowing just one run on four hits and struck out three batters.

Owen Valley did put together a bit of a rally in the fifth and sixth innings, taking advantage of an error, a wild pitch and a walk before scoring on a Brian Jones single. Senior Nick Madison drove home two runs with his third hit of the game, a single.

Northview hurler J.J. Smerdel got out of the jam by striking out Jake Sweatman to end the inning.

The Patriots added another two runs in the sixth inning on a hit batter, a throwing error and an infield dribbler that was misplayed by Northview, leaving everyone safe.

Smerdel responded to the situation by striking out Jeremy Mosier, but Brett Worland singled home a pair of runs before a strikeout ended the threat.

Northview capped off the game in the seventh inning as Smerdel struck out the final two batters for the Western Indiana Conference victory.

"Our defense needs some work," admitted Witham. "But that comes with not being outside that much (for practice). You can hit inside, but you can't really work on fielding. But for the first game out, it's not bad. As long as we keep improving from here we'll be fine."

The Knights return to action this evening with a road trip to Owen Valley at 5 p.m.

Northview 10, Owen Valley 6

At Northview

Owen Valley0010330-- 683
Northview060400--- 10104

2B -- Nv (Bass 2, Crooks), OV (none). HR -- Nv (Robertson)

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