Times Sports Editor
One night after an emotional, late night win against a talented Homestead squad that didn't until after 11 p.m., the Knights were back in action at home against Martinsville. While the 10-inning win against the Spartans kept Northview's baseball team out late, the Knights didn't suffer too much on the field in drilling Martinsville by a 9-0 score to improve to 5-0 this season.
Afterwards, head coach Scott McDonald addressed the potential let down against a sectional foe following a big Thursday evening victory.
"That was a big concern going in," McDonald said. "We got home late, it was an emotional game, big win for us. Coming out, we never really got going offensively, we got 15 hits and scored every inning, but we sort of grinded it out and luckily were able to get a win."
Northview starting pitcher Craig Peters made sure that any offense his squad would give him would be more than enough.
The sophomore righthander allowed only a fourth inning single to the Artesians' leadoff hitter, Ben Elliott, on the way to a complete game shutout victory.
"I'll tell ya what, he had complete control of every pitch tonight," Mcdonald said. "I was able to call it in and out and I bet he hit 95-percent of his locations. I thought he had pretty good pop on his fastball too. That's a good sign for us, him pitching like that. (Martinsville's) a good team, a sectional opponent, and he handled them from the very first inning."
Though the Knights didn't string together any "big" innings, Northview did get multiple hits from four hitters, including a 4-for-4 night from junior Kodie Girton at the top of the lineup.
"(Kodie Girton) does a great job at leadoff, he can bunt and he can do a lot of things," McDonald said.
In the first inning, Northview jumped into the lead as Girton singled, stole second and came around to score following an infield single by Joey Thomas and an RBI base hit by Zac Niehaus. Martinsville was able to avoid further damage on a fielder's choice grounder by Zach Hull that saw the Artesians' Caleb Milner get Thomas at home. Brandon Hatton blocked the plate on the throw to stop the run from scoring.
In the second inning, Conner Pierce reached on an infield single, Curtis Grove ripped a run scoring double into leftfield and would score on an RBI double by Girton.
The Knights continued to add to the lead the following inning as Niehaus reached via an error, Hull singled deep into the shortstop hole and an error brought Niehaus home.
"One through nine we are all starting to swing the bats well. (Curtis) Grove had a good night, (Zac) Niehaus hit the ball hard and Zach Hull is hitting for ridiculous numbers. We figured out the stats the other night and the starters are hitting almost .550 as a team," McDonald said.
Already with a 4-0 lead, Girton's third hit of the game preceded him stealing second and Thomas worked a 3-2 count before smacking an RBI single that ended the night for Martinsville starter, Tyler Wernert.
Applegate came on in relief and was greeted rudely by a ringing double by Niehaus to score Thomas and push the gap to 6-0.
With the game firmly in hand thanks to Peters' shutout pitching, the Knights closed out the game by scoring on an RBI fielder's choice by TJ Decker in the fifth inning before closing out the game with a two-run outburst in the sixth inning.
Girton capped a big offensive night with a second double to go with two stolen bases, an RBI and scored three times. Thomas followed with his third hit of the game, an infield single, and Niehaus hit an RBI single. Thomas would come around to score on a wild pitch.
Despite the offensive display, McDonald was impressed with his defense after Andrew Butts, who was 2-for-4 at the plate, made a leaping snag at third base for the second out in the final inning. Peters finished the game with his 10th strikeout.
"That's our fourth shutout in five games so are defense (is playing well) and (Andrew Butts) made a great play at third. We made every play that we needed to make."
Northview is back in action for its third game in less than 48 hours, a doubleheader at home against Mt. Vernon beginning at noon today.
2B -- Nv (Girton 2, Niehaus, Grove), Mv (None). SB -- Nv (Girton 2, Niehaus, Decker). CS -- Nv (Hull).
|Peters (W, 2-0)||7.0||0||1||0||10|