Times Staff Reporter
The Northview High School Knights staged a valiant comeback effort in the sixth inning, but they could not overcome a five-run second inning by the Bloomington North High School Cougars.
The Cougars began the second with a home run by third baseman Zach Collier.
Catcher Stephen Bartlett, second baseman Jake Owens, right fielder Will Forney and left fielder Tom Walsh all followed around the base path, giving Bloomington North a quick 5-0 lead.
Northview's pitcher Brock Lawson gave up five runs on six hits in four innings. Nick Lancaster, who moved to the mound from centerfield, replaced him.
The Knights put together a rally in the late innings of the game. In the fourth, first baseman Cody Crooks led off the inning with a double to deep left field near the foul line.
A sacrifice fly by Lancaster moved Crooks over to third, and another sacrifice by Lawson brought Crooks home, giving Northview its first run.
Bloomington North's center fielder Matt Serfling began the top of the fifth with a triple to the right field warning track. Serfling was brought home on a 4-5-3 double play after first baseman Broderick Schmitz reached on a hit-by-pitch, extending the Cougar's lead to 6-1.
Right fielder Dylan Kruse also led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a hit. He sent a single over the head of the Cougar's second baseman. Shortstop Ryne Barr hit into a fielder's choice, but a strong slide by Kruse into second broke up a possible double play.
Catcher Keaton Robertson doubled to right field, and Barr scored on the play, making the score 6-2 in favor of Bloomington North.
The Cougars went scoreless in the top of the sixth, leaving the door open for a Knights' rally.
Crooks doubled into center field, then was replaced on the base path by Andrew Butts. Lancaster drew a walk, which led to a Bloomington North pitching change.
Bryce Brahaum faced Lawson as his first batter, and Lawson singled the ball down the left field line, loading the bases.
Center fielder Drake Stevenson struck out, then Kruse was hit by a pitch, bringing Butts home.
Barr watched a called third strike, and second baseman Matt Nodley knocked a single off the glove of the Cougar's third baseman. Lancaster and Lawson scored before Kruse was tagged out at third base.
The three run inning closed the gap to one run for the final inning.
Lancaster struck out Bloomington North designated hitter Casey Smith to begin the seventh, but Serfling hit his second triple of the game in the next at bat.
Serfling was awarded home on a Knight throwing error, pushing the Cougar lead to two.
Northview had Robertson on second in the seventh inning on two passed balls, but was unable to capitalize, giving Bloomington North the 7-5 win.
Northview travels to Shakamak for a 5 p.m. JV contest before the varsity faces the Lakers.
2B -- BN (Forney), Nv (Crooks 2, Robertson). 3B -- BN (Serfling 2), Nv (None). HR--BN (Collier) Nv (None). SB -- BN (Owens), Nv (Robertson).