Northview senior Sean Brackney gathers up a Cloverdale groundball and fires to first during a 9-1 win.
Northview celebrated Senior Night for their baseball team in grand fashion on Thursday night, posting a 9-1 victory over Cloverdale.
Senior righthander Sean Brackney was in control for the entire game on the mound, holding the Clovers scoreless through six innings while allowing just two hits. Cloverdale pushed across their lone run in the top of the seventh inning after Cody Nees reached second when his flyball was lost in the lights to leadoff the inning. He came around to score on a fielder's choice groundout by Jason Flory.
"We got a really great game from Sean tonight," commented coach Gary Witham. "He has been a real gem for us this spring. We started off a little slow but once we got started hitting we played well."
On this night, fittingly, the Knights were paced by their senior class who went a combined 6-for-10 with seven runs driven in as sixth-ranked Northview improved to an impressive 22-3 overall this season.
"This has really been a remarkable job by this team, especially the seniors. They've all worked really hard and have really sacrificed their personal stats for the team. They've been a great group of kids and fun to coach."
A perfect example of how hard this team has worked is the time spent in even preparing the field to play following a deluge dumped on the field just a couple of hours before game time by a passing storm. The team worked diligently to get the field in remarkably good shape considering the severity of the rainfall in a short amount of time.
Once they were ready to play, the Knights began to work over Cloverdale starting pitcher Craig Blair after a couple of scoreless innings.
The Knights plated a pair of runs in the third inning when J.J. Smerdel kicked off the inning with a single and senior Jesse Johnson doubled him home with a shot to centerfield. Sophomore catcher Keaton Robertson followed with another run scoring double to give Brackney all the support he would need early in the game.
Northview tallied single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on a sacrifice fly from Brackney that scored Chase Yocom who stole two bases. In the fifth inning, a walk from John Reberger and a single by Austin Bryan was followed by a run scoring sac fly by senior Graig Bass.
A five run outburst against reliever Jason Flory in the sixth inning finished off the damage as Northview piled on six hits in the inning.
Brackney singled and pinchrunner Nick Lancaster stole second. With one out, Lancaster moved to third on a balk by Flory before Johnson ripped a single to score Lancaster, making the score 5-0. Robertson followed with his second hit and Reberger continued his red hot streak, blasting a two-run double that fell just short of being a homerun to leftcenterfield. Bryan came to the plate and doubled to leftfield to bring home Reberger and Bass singled to bring home Bryan to make the score 9-0.
Northview piled up 13 hits in the game, including four doubles while Brackney shut the Clovers down on three hits and striking out five batters while walking none.
The victory was the 93rd versus just 21 losses for the class of 2006.
While seniors Jesse Johnson, Sean Brackney, Austin Bryan, Travis Nodley, John Reberger and Graig Bass were all honored on the field with their friends and family, the one player who wasn't there was certainly the most remembered.
Andrew Griffin, was honored along with what would have been his graduating class this year. Griffin was tragically lost in a car accident in January, 2004. His father, Tim Brown, was in attendance and was presented with a baseball autographed by Andrew's fellow seniors before the game.
"This is Andrew's class, we all think about him and talk about him a lot," said coach Witham of Griffin. "We just wanted to remember him tonight with his classmates."
Northview will travel to Beech Grove for a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. before heading to the Terre Haute South Sectional next week.
Northview 9, Cloverdale 1
2B -- Nv (Johnson, Robertson, Reberger, Bryan), CL (Nees, McCammon).
|Brackney (W, 4-2)||7.0||1||3||0||5|
|Craig Blair (L)||3.0||2||3||3||1|