EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The Northview Knights couldn't put together enough hits, pitching or defense Saturday afternoon against the Indianapolis Cathedral Irish in the Class 4A high school baseball semistate at Evansville.
Cathedral beat Northview 9-1 in the second game of the semistate at Bosse Field in Evansville. Evansville North, a 2-1 winner in eight innings over Noblesville in the semistate opener, hammered Cathedral 10-0 in the championship game Saturday night.
The loss ended the most successful season in Northview High School baseball. The Knights closed with a 26-4 record and the program's first regional title.
"I'm very disappointed, the kids are disappointed, but we did some things right. We had some good defensive plays, we made some mistakes you can't make against a team like (Cathedral)," Northview Coach Gary Witham said.
Cathedral, with a final record of 28-5, scored at least once in the first five innnings. With two out in the first, the Irish scored two unearned runs after the first of the Knights' four errors extended the inning. Four of Cathedral's nine runs were unearned.
The Irish had eight hits off Northview's Nick Wells and Brady Shoemaker, and five were for extra bases.
"(Cathedral) is an unbelieveable team. Their hitters were absolutely phenominal today. Everything we threw up there they hit," Witham said.
Wells (10-2), who got the Knights through the sectional with a 160-pitch performance, was not sharp in 11/3 innings on the mound, and the defensive errors compounded the situation. Brady Shoemaker came on in relief in the second inning.
Northview got seven hits, led by Ryan Nees with an opposite-field double. In fact, all but two Knights got hits.
"I thought we hit the ball. We just couldn't bunch the hits together, score any runs. We should have done better off the second guy (Cathedral) brought in," Witham said.
The Knights got five hits of Cathedral's Tom Hunter, a hard-throwing righthander selected by Tampa Bay last week in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Hunter (8-4) was relieved by Cy Fraker, who relied on a breaking pitch instead of fast ball.
Northview was prepared for Hunter. The Knights turned up the speed of the pitching machine and pitched from shorter distances in practice.
"We prepared for him the best we could. I felt like we hit the ball well enough. We had more strike outs (five) than I would like to have seen, but we hit the ball," Witham said.
Going into their first semistate game, the Knights knew they could not leave runners on the bases. They stranded six runners on bases.
Nees led off the second with a double into left field and moved to third on Jesse Johnson's single to right. Johnson stole second, putting two runners in scoring position. Cathedral's Hunter struck out the next batter and ended the inning with a ground ball.
Wade Thacker and T.J. King led off the third with back-to-back singles and each moved up a base on Shane Cooper's sacrifice bunt. Shoemaker singled to bring home Thacker and moved King to third. But again, Hunter got the strike out he needed and a ground ball ended the inning.
The Knights were never again in position to rally.
"We had a couple of opportunities there we couldn't capitalize on. I don't know if that would have made much difference in the total outcome, considering the final score," Witham said.
Wells, Shoemaker (2) and Trout; Hunter, Fraker (5) and O'Neil. W --
Hunter (8-4). L -- Wells (10-2). LOB -- NHS 6, CHS 8. 3B -- Madia. 2B --
Nees, Roesinger (2), Moore, Madia.
Northview closed the season 26-4.