Times Staff Reporter
The Northview baseball team ended their regular season on a high note with a tight 4-3 victory over Greencastle on senior night.
The Knights fell behind early after Greencastle's Keegan Remsburg and Tanner Battin each blasted RBI doubles off Northview starting pitcher T.J. Decker. Decker was pulled prior to the inning's completion as a precautionary measure due to what coach Scott McDonald called "back discomfort."
Northview didn't stay behind for long though, as Caleb Mason blasted a 2-run homer in the bottom half of the second to tie the game. Later in the inning, Zac Niehaus scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The Knights added another run in the fourth when Brock Lawson, one of the three seniors honored in pre-game ceremonies, hit an RBI single.
Much of Northview's success came from excellent relief pitching from Kodie Girton and Caleb Mason, who pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run and two hits, striking out seven and walking zero.
Girton faced a tough situation in the fifth, when he allowed a leadoff single, and an RBI triple by Greencastle's Trey Ford to bring the Tiger Cubs within a run. Girton quickly halted a further comeback as Greencastle was unable to hit the ball out of the infield. McDonald credited his young pitcher for being able to work out of such a tight jam.
"Kodie pitched well," McDonald said. "He made the right pitches and we made the right plays behind him and we got out of the inning."
The win improved Northview to 15-12. McDonald said a weekend tournament, which saw Northview upset Class 2A Elwood in the Greyhound Invitational at Carmel went a long way into preparing the Knights for sectional play, and very little stock was put into Tuesday's finale in terms of measuring his team's postseason readiness.
McDonald said the biggest area of concern with Tuesday's game was making sure his three seniors, Lawson, Matt Nodley and Kyle Pestoff were able to walk away with a win in their final home game. The seniors were honored in a brief ceremony prior to the game, got to pick the lineup and sent off with a standing ovation prior to the game's final out. McDonald credited his group of seniors for the play and determination they displayed in their high school careers.
"It's always important to get (your departing seniors) a win to go out on," McDonald said. "These kids came in together, they worked their way up together, and it's great they were able to go out with a win."
Northview kicks off sectional play Thursday when they take on sectional host Martinsville at 5 p.m.
Northview 4 Greencastle 3
2B- GC (Battin, Remsburg) NV (Mason, Hull) 3B- GC (Ford) HR- NV (Mason)
Next Game: Knights at Martinsville (sectional), Thursday, 5 p.m.