The future is looking bright for Northview's baseball program these days. The 'C' team has lost just one game all season and on Saturday, the junior varsity 'B' team improved to 8-1 on the year after winning its own invitational.
Northview opened by drilling conference foe Brown County, 11-1, with Zac Niehaus picking up the win in five innings of work. The freshman right hander struck out 12 batters while allowing just two hits and two walks.
"I thought that Zac did a really good job of using his fastball to overpower them," said coach Scott McDonald. "(Brown County) did not have an answer for his fastball or curveball."
Niehaus helped his own cause on the mound, smacking two hits and Andrew Butts also had two hits for the Knights, including a double. Roy Brown drove home two with a pair of hits and Jordan Allen had two base hits, one was a triple to drive home two runs.
Logan Kile smashed his first career home run with Jordan King singling home a run, Scotty Wheeler singled and scored twice for the Knights and Craig Bell also singled.
"I thought we played a little flat and came out expecting Brown County to just allow us to win," commented McDonald. "We cannot expect teams to just roll over and we cruise in for wins. Our intensity has to be there every game as though it is a sectional game, where we have to win to advance."
And advance the Knights did to face Terre Haute North in the championship game.
Caleb Mershon took the mound for the Knights and the freshman strung together a sterling effort.
The six-foot righthander went the distance, striking out nine Patriots in seven innings and allowing three hits with three walks.
Niehaus tripled as part of a two-hit effort and Wheeler added two more walks for the Knights who took advantage of some North control woes.
The Patriots walked six Northview batters and all three of them counted towards a run in the game.
Afterwards, McDonald felt that his team played a strong game, but needs to work on their plate patience.
"We struck out eight times which is entirely too many. We have to do a better job of cutting our swings down and putting the ball in play," said the Knights' coach. "Our defense was very good in the game. We had only one error and a tough play. That was very encouraging to see that when the pressure was getting tougher, that our defense stepped up when it needed to. We needed a game like to learn how to play in the close games. We have played in a lot of blowouts and never really faced adversity before. I thought that this was the best game Caleb has pitched. He had good command and worked with a lot of energy, which the rest of the kids played off of."
Northview improves to 8-1 overall and was scheduled to travel to West Vigo on Monday.