BLOOMINGTON -- Hitting the road for an early week road game against a solid Bloomington North squad, the Northview Knights got off to a good start. But the good feelings didn't last long as the Cougars put up a nine-spot in the second inning and held off the Knights 11-5.
"If we can make the routine plays, then we win that game 5-1," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "We out hit them 9-6, they had more strikeouts than we did, the difference was our defense."
Northview started well as Matt Nodley blasted a two-run homerun in the first inning off of North's pitcher, Casey Smith, who is the son of IU baseball coach, Tracy Smith.
Northview starting pitcher, Craig Bell, held the Cougars scoreless in the first inning, but the second inning wasn't pretty.
The Cougars had just two hits in the inning, a Zach Collier double and a homerun by Jake Owens, but Northview committed three errors and Bell walked three and hit two batters to help North put a crooked number on the scoreboard.
"Our pitching allowed five hit batters and three walks, we cannot spot runners and put more pressure on our defense," McDonald said.
Brock Lawson came on to relieve Bell and held the Cougars in check over three innings, allowing two hits and striking out a pair.
The Knights narrowed the lead with three runs in the fourth inning to get within 9-5 before the Cougars were able to add a pair of runs off Kodie Girton in the sixth inning.
Though his team got behind early, McDonald found positives in the game to see that the Knights are progressing in the right direction.
"The biggest part of the game that we were pleased with was the complete team effort that we saw from every player dressed for the game," McDonald said. "We stayed in the game, our concentration was good, our intensity was good, which is a good sign that they are learning what it takes to compete game in and game out."
Facing another solid pitcher in Smith, McDonald was pleased to see his team hit the ball well.
"We felt that we became a team at this game," McDonald said. "The pitcher that we faced was very good and once again we hit the ball well. We are progressing just as we hoped that we would in terms of the team concept, our offensive philosophy, and understanding what it means to play with intensity."
At the plate, Nodley had the home run as well as a double and Seth Lunsford smacked a double as part of a two-hit game. Zac Niehaus had a double, Caleb Mason added two hits and both Andrew Butts and Kyle Pestoff added hits.
The Knights (4-3 overall) host Shakamak for a 5 p.m. junior varsity game followed by a varsity contest at 7 p.m. tonight.
At Bloomington North
|Smith (W, 1-0)||7.0||5||5||9||2||7|
|Bell (L, 0-1)||2.0||9||0||2||3||4|