For the Brazil Times
PLAINFIELD -- The Northview Knights came within two plays of sweeping the high school baseball doubleheader from host Plainfield Quakers on Saturday afternoon.
After winning game one 10-2, the Knights couldn't hold a five-run lead and let game two slip away 7-6 in the seventh inning.
"We just weren't able to put them away. We let them hang around. Just not a very good performance on our part. To split is unacceptable," Northview coach Scott McDonald said.
After winning game one, the Knights took a 5-0 lead in the second inning on singles by Craig Bell and Logan Kile, a sacrifice fly from Andrew Butts and a two-run double from Zac Niehaus. The Knights had five hits in those first two innings.
But over the next five innings, Northview managed just three hits and left five runners on base, including the go-ahead run in the seventh.
Plainfield scored four runs on four hits in the third inning, and tied the score 6-6 with two runs. The tying run came home on the Knights' second error.
Plainfield scored the winning run in the seventh on a walk and run-scoring double into the right-center field gap.
"[Our] pitching was pretty good. I thought all four guys did a good job. But there were a few balls we should have caught. There were some fundamental things that we didn't do that we would normally do. That's something we'll have to fix Monday," McDonald said.
Northview got solid pitching in both contests. Brock Lawson and Kodie Girton combined to stop Plainfield on three hits in game one. The duo combined to strike out 14, walk two and hit one batter. And in game two, Caleb Mason and Craig Bell teamed up to scatter eight hits, strike out 15 and walk four.
Zac Niehaus led the Knights' 16-hit day. The sophomore infielder was 5-for-8 at the plate with four doubles and five RBI.
"I really wish we could have put (another win) together. We couldn't quite get the hits when we needed them. But our pitchers pitched real well (and) that's really what kept us in the game. If we could have got the bats a little better it would have helped big time," Niehaus said.
Yes, despite the 16 hits, the Knights couldn't get the timely hit. Northview left eight runners on base in each game, including the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh of game two.
Northview jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning of game one. The Knights sent 14 batters to the plate by putting together singles by Drake Stevenson and Butts with five Quaker errors.
Northview, now 6-4, travels to Sullivan on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game.
Lawson, Girton (4) and Lunsford; Jay, Jones (1) and Dell. W -- Lawson. L -- Jay. LOB -- N 8, P 5. HR --Yoho. 2B -- Niehaus, Hull , Cragen.
Mason, Bell (5) and Lunsford; Yoho, Gardner (3), Wuensch (7) and Cragen. W -- Wuensch. L -- Bell . LOB -- N 8, P 7. 2B -- Niehaus (3), Mennonno, Kellum, Hudson.
Next game -- Northview (6-4) travels to Sullivan on Tuesday for a WIC game.