Times Staff Reporter
TERRE HAUTE -- A terrific season for the Northview baseball team ended in horrific fashion, as they dropped an 11-1, six inning decision to Terre Haute South in sectional semi-final action Monday morning.
The Braves took control early, when Andre Reed drove in two runs with a triple, which came as a result of a misjudged fly ball. Reed then scored two pitches later, giving South a 3-0 lead after one-half inning of play.
Northview's scoreless bottom half of the first didn't come about without controversy. With two outs, Zac Niehaus hit a blast to center, which appeared to sail over the centerfield fence, only to bounce off a flagpole and back into the field of play. However, the umpires ruled the ball bounced off the top of the wall and only awarded Niehaus a double. He was then stranded.
Stranded baserunners proved to be most detrimental to the Knights Monday, as they left runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, without netting a single run.
Clutch hitting proved to be the biggest difference.
Leading 5-0 in the fifth, South put an emphatic stamp on the game, putting up five runs, all of which came with two out. Preston Tofaute, who went 4-for-4, blasted an RBI double. Reed, who also allowed just one run over six innings on the mound, capped things off with a single, driving in his third and fourth runs of the game.
"I thought we hit the ball well in spots, we just couldn't get back-to-back hits," Knights coach Scott McDonald said. "They made plays and we didn't. That was the biggest factor (in the outcome of the game.)"
With two outs and two strikes in the fifth, senior Roy Brown kept the game going with a homerun. Unfortunately for Northview, the Braves were able to put up an 11th run in the sixth inning to put things away for good.
The sectional defeat was a sad capper to a consistently impressive season, which saw Northview finish 23-6. While they will lose five seniors from this years team (Brown, JT Jeffers, Jordan Allen, Drake Stevenson and Caleb Mason, they will be returning a lot of firepower from this years' squad. However, graduation may prove not to be the only factor in a new look 2011 Northview squad.
McDonald says that after 21 years of coaching, he is considering stepping down from his position, saying he is "50/50 at best" in regards to returning next season. While he was noticeably disappointed in the outcome of Monday's game, he says the toll coaching tends to take on his personal life is the primary reason he is considering resignation.
"Sometimes you need to step back and evaluate your priorities," said McDonald, who has two children. "When your three-year-old girl asks why you can't be home, that hurts. Right now I don't know what I'm going to do. We'll see what happens."
Despite seeing their season end in such deflating fashion, McDonald, who generally doesn't mince words when evaluating a poor performance, seemed fairly content with the season, saying the elation of 23 wins would more than make up for the sting of six defeats.
"It was a great season," McDonald said. "I thought we were ready and would play a lot better than we did today, but all in all we had a great time this year."
Class 4A Terre Haute North Sectional
|Terre Haute South 300 251||- 11||11||1|
|Northview 000 010||- 1||6||2|
2B- THS (Tofaute, Duggins), NV (Niehaus, Lunsford). 3B - THS (Reed). HR- NV (Brown)