Times Sports Editor
The Northview Knights were able to narrowly best Mother Nature's impending rain to get in an official five inning victory over Western Boone on Wednesday, 10-4.
After falling behind in the opening inning in the first game of the season, the Stars were able to duplicate the feat against the Knights, posting a 2-0 lead after one frame.
"We talked last night about intensity and passion and how we're the hunted now," coach Scott McDonald said of the Knights. "We have to come out and play a little sharper."
Carson Kleiber got the start on the mound for the Knights and allowed a leadoff single from Jay Purdy and a double to Levi Remley to put runners in scoring position. Jared Knox hit an RBI groundout for the first run and Remley scored on a botched squeeze play. The Stars' sophomore came racing home from third as Luke Wethington missed on his bunt attempt. However, the ball got away from catcher Seth Lunsford to push the Western Boone lead to 2-0.
Andrew Jarrett was able to keep the Knights off the board over the first two innings despite allowing a leadoff walk to Andrew Butts in the first inning and three consecutive singles in the second inning.
Zach Hull beat out an infield single to lead off the second, but was caught stealing for the first out. Lunsford and Joey Thomas both followed with base hits, but Jarrett got TJ Decker and Jordan Allen via groundout to keep Northview off the board.
Butts walked and stole second before Drake Stevenson reached on an error. With one out, Caleb Mason launched a long fly ball to centerfield that was misplayed to plate both runners and send the Knights' senior to third base. Zach Hull followed with an RBI single on a liner to leftfield and advanced to second on a wildpitch. Lunsford moved him to third with a single and that was the end of Jarrett's evening on the mound.
Remley came into the game, one of four Western Boone pitchers that would see action on Wednesday, but he was greeted with an RBI single by Thomas to put the Knights up 4-2.
Kleiber had meanwhile settled in and didn't allow another run, and in fact, allowed just one more hit while striking out six over four innings.
"When we have new guys throwing varsity there are some nerves," McDonald said. "Carson (Kleiber) did a really good job today."
With Western Boone's offense held in check, the Knights rang up six runs the following inning as 10 batters came to the plate.
Butts doubled to start the inning and both Stevenson and Niehaus reached via walk as Purdy came in to relieve Remley.
Mason brought home the first inning with a sacrifice fly and a walk to Hull loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Roy Brown sacrificed Stevenson home and an infield single by Thomas gave him his second RBI of the game. Decker came to the plate and reached on an error by Knox at shortstop. The miscue brought both Thomas and Hull in for a 9-2 lead. Jordan Allen's RBI double gave the Knights an eight-run advantage.
"We fell behind, but we made things happen offensively better today and our intensity was better. Overall it was a much better effort," McDonald said.
Brock Wheeler came in to relieve Kleiber in the fifth inning and allowed the final two runs to the Stars before lightning put a halt to the contest.
Hull reached base all four times he came to the plate with two hits and two walks and Thomas had three singles. Butts also reached base three times.
The Knights (2-0 overall) are back in action Friday night on the road at Martinsville at 5 p.m.
2B -- Nv (Allen, Butts), WB (Remley 2). SB -- Nv (Butts 2, Stevenson, Mason, Thomas), WB (Remley). CS -- Nv (Hull).
|Kleiber (W, 1-0)||4.0||2||3||1||6|