Sean Brackney and the Northview Knights remained unbeaten with a WIC sweep of Brown County on Saturday afternoon.
Anyone leaving the Northview High School baseball games after, oh, say four innings, with the Knights trailing, oh say, 7-0, is missing a great season.
For no less than the third time this season, Northview came from behind Saturday afternoon to sweep Brown County 11-8, 11-5 in a Western Indiana Conference doubleheader. The victories not only raised Northview to 7-0 on the season, but 4-0 in the baseball tradition rich WIC.
"I love it. I knew [the season] might be a tough one this year, but our kids have played pretty well," Northview coach Gary Witham said.
With no single player carrying them, the Knights, who were 24-6 last year, have continued winning by playing true team ball. All nine positions in the lineup produced at least one run in the doubleheader and nine different players had at least one hit.
Four pitchers -- Johnson, Ryne Barr, J.J. Smerdel and John Reberger -- combined to win the first game. Sean Brackney and Curtis Peters teamed up to win the second.
"We knew our pitching was probably going to be by committee. We had four pitchers throw the first game and two [the second]. We've got a bunch of guys who we think, on any given day, any one of them can do the job, but you never know every given day who is going to do it," Witham said.
Hitting was the key. Northview hammered out 26 hits in the two contests Saturday. Austin Bryan was 5-for-7 at the plate with a double and four RBI; Keaton Robertson was 5-9 with a double and three RBI; and John Reberger went 4-7 with three doubles, two of which completely altered the contest; Johnson went 4-8, with a triple and five RBI. And Cody Crooks, hitting in the seven hole, belted a solo home run.
"[The seniors] knew [this team] was going to be different [from last year]. We thought at first we were going to have to play small ball and win close games, put a few runs on the board and hope to come out with a win. But we're putting a lot of runs [on the scoreboard]. I give credit for that to the bottom of the lineup. They're stepping up right now, pulling us through. We're doing our job at the top [of the lineup], getting some hits and they're [driving] us in," Northview's Johnson said.
Brown County (1-7, 0-4 in WIC) took a 7-0 lead in the first inning and a half of game one. The Knights trailed 8-4 after three innings.
Northview scored five runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Reberger connected for a two-run double that turned the entire day around.
While the Knights maintained the momentum, the second game was knotted 3-3 after five innings. The Knights took control of the scoreboard with a four-run sixth and (as the visitor in the second game) plated four insurance runs in the seventh.
Bryan delivered a two-run single and Reberger a two-run double in the sixth for the Knights. In the seventh Johnson, Robertson and Craig Bass all connected game run-scoring hits.
"We have kind of owned the sixth and seventh innings, so far. But you got to be careful about that. I like the fact [we can come back], you just don't want to have to do it routinely," Witham said.
Brown County's David Tatham, a junior, put on an all-conference performance, going 7-8 at the plate with a double and triple and scored five of the Eagles' 13 total runs.
Northview returns to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. home game against South Vermillion.
Freshour, Miller (5) and Miller, Davern (5); Johnson, Barr (1), Smerdel (4), Reberger (6) and Robertson. W -- Smerdel. L -- Freshour. LOB -- BC -- 13, N 9. HR -- Crooks. 3B -- Johnson. 2B -- Tatham, Reberger (2),
Brackney, Peters (6) and Robertson; Tatham, Sumpter (6) and Miller. W -- Brackney. L -- Tatham. LOB -- N 11, BC 6. 3B -- Tatham. 2B -- Bryan, Reberger.
Next game -- Northview (7-0, 4-0 in WIC) will host South Vermillion on
Tuesday at 7 p.m.