For the Brazil Times
The Northview Knights were lucky to survive the opening game of the Northview Invitational Baseball Tournament on Saturday, outscoring Bloomington South's Panthers 9-8 in eight innings despite five fielding errors.
"I think our pitchers did pretty well. I just think our defense didn't make any plays. If we make some plays that game is 8-1, 9-1, whatever it turned out to be. Our defense has just got to get better," Northview coach Scott McDonald said.
The Knights weren't so lucky in the championship game. Bellmont's Braves pulled out a 4-3 victory with the help of two Northview errors in the fourth inning.
The Saturday split leaves the Knights at 8-5 going into Tuesday's Western Indiana Conference at home with Brown County. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
With two outs already in the book, Bellmont, now 8-0, scored two unearned runs and took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning off two Northview errors and a Tyler Baker double.
Northview came back to knot the score 3-3 with one run in the fourth and another in the fifth.
Caleb Mason started the fourth with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Zac Hull's infield out. Kodie Girton led off the fifth with a walk, stole second and scored on Andrew Butts' long single to right field.
With the score tied 3-3 in the seventh, Bellmont scored the winning run in the seventh inning after two outs. A walk, stolen base and line drive single into right field plated the winning run.
Northview pitchers Brock Lawson and Caleb Mershon held Bellmont to five hits and two earned runs. But offensively, the Knights managed just six hits while striking out 12 times and did not steal a base in the title game.
Andrew Butts led the Knights' six-hit attack with a triple, single and one RBI. Caleb Mason was 1-3 at the plate with a double and Matt Nodley and Kyle Pestoff were both 1-3.
Northview came from behind to pull out a 9-8 extra-inning victory over Bloomington South with some clutch hitting.
With Bloomington South leading 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Craig Bell smashed a game-tying solo home run.
With the score tied 8-8 in the bottom of the eighth, T.J. Decker and Nodley belted back-to-back doubles. But it was a high relay throw that allowed Decker to slide home with the winning run.
Decker, pinch-hitting, started the rally with a one-out double. Andrew Butts received an intentional walk.
Nodley's high drive to center field carried over the outfielder's head, but Decker had to hold at second base to see if the ball would be caught.
"I thought (the fielder) caught it," Decker said.
But when the ball hit the ground, Decker broke for third and coach McDonald was waving him home all the way. Bloomington South's relay throw home was high, allowing Decker to slide in with the winning run.
"As soon as there was contact we were going to try to score. It takes a catch and a throw, a catch and a throw to make it and luckily it worked out for us and we won the game," McDonald said.
Butts and Niehaus led Northview's 11-hit attack with two each. Nodley, Mason, Bell , Roy Brown, Drake Stevenson, Seth Lunsford, Kyle Pestoff and Decker each had one hit.
Northview pitchers Mason and Kodie Girton allowed just two earned runs to Bloomington South. The duo scattered 11 hits.
DP - None. LOB -- BS 11, N 7. HR -- Bell . 2B -- Acton , Nodley, Lunsford. SH - Forney. SB -- Coffey 2, Humphrey , Jordan , Acton, Butts, Niehaus. CS - Niehaus.
DP - None. LOB -- Bm 6, N 4. 3B -- Butts. 2B -- T.Baker, Mason. SH - None. SB -- Hall 2, Hisner, Stidam, Girton. CS -- Busse, T.Baker.