Top: Northview infielders and Assistant coach Scott MacDonald take a timeout to talk over the situation during the early innings of Thursday's sectional semifinal against Mooresville.
Bottom: (Right) Catcher Keaton Robertson congratulates pitcher Sean Brackney (left) after getting out of an early jam.
TERRE HAUTE -- The sectional draw heading into the postseason provided Northview's baseball squad a bye bracket game which, in theory, is an easier path towards a potential sectional championship.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Mooresville's Marc Roberts was standing in their way.
Roberts controlled Northview's potent arsenal, holding them to just two hits and the senior struckout 12 Knights over a complete game, 6-0 victory on Thursday night.
"Their pitcher did an excellent job all night," commented Northview head coach Gary Witham. "He owned us tonight."
Roberts also did some damage at the plate for the Pioneers, driving in a pair of runs with a single in the third inning and one in the fifth inning that put Mooresville ahead 3-0.
Meanwhile, Roberts was keeping the Knights at bay throughout the game.
Northview threatened a couple of times but each time, Roberts was able to work himself out of the jam.
In the first inning, Northview's Keaton Robertson walked and stole second with one out, but Roberts was able to strikeout John Reberger and coaxed a groundout from Austin Bryan to end the first threat. The same can be said for the third inning when Jesse Johnson walked and stole second with two outs, but Roberts set down Robertson via strikeout for the third out.
Perhaps the best chance for Northview rally was in the fourth inning when Bryan reached on catcher's interference when his bat struck Mooresville's catcher's mitt with one out. Chase Yocom then beat out an infield single and both runners advanced to scoring position when the throw to first was wild. Cody Crooks was then set down by strikeout and from there, Northview had little going offensively.
"We really needed more baserunners tonight," said Witham. "We just couldn't get much going against them."
Mooresville's offense got just enough going to keep the Knights on the defensive all night.
The Pioneers scored their first runs in the second inning when Derek Bradford singled to lead off the inning and Adam Clark followed with another single, just past a diving Jesse Johnson. Roberts then got Mooresville into the scoring column with an RBI single off Northview's Sean Brackney. Clark would score on an RBI groundout.
Mooresville added a single run in the fifth inning on Roberts' second RBI hit and then gave themselves the final cushion off J.J. Smerdel with a pair of singles and a two-run double by Gibson Daniel to cement the game.
Roberts then finished off the game fittingly by striking out the side in the seventh inning.
Despite the loss, a 24-win season is nothing to sneeze at for a team that graduated all but one starter from last seasons team.
"We had an awfully good year," mentioned Witham. "I am very pleased with our year. We had just 3 1/3 innings of pitching coming back. We had a lot of people step up this season and we had one of our best offensive years ever. We didn't have much varsity experience coming back this year. These guys really stepped up."
The Knights finished off the season with a 24-4 mark overall while Mooresville advances to face Terre Haute North tonight.
Clay City advances to sectional championship
The Clay City Eels put together a late offensive outburst, tallying eight of their nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings and they got strong pitching from Tim Shaw and Andre Hayes to win 9-2 over North Central.
The Eels have won five of their past six games and move onto the sectional championship game tonight at 7 p.m.
Shaw struckout five Thunderbirds before being relieved in the fifth inning by Hayes who got the save while striking out three batters.
Shaw also was a star at the plate, drilling a homerun and driving home four runs. Will Kennedy drove home a run with two hits, including a double. Kyler Rhodes had an RBI single and Ben Dickey added a hit as well.
T. H. South Sectional
2B -- Mv (Daniel).
2B -- CC (Kennedy). HR -- CC (Shaw).