Times Staff Report
BLOOMINGTON -- The Northview Knights dropped their first baseball game of the season Tuesday evening as Bloomington North broke open a close game with six runs in the fifth inning of a 13-4 decision.
"Bloomington North was an outstanding hitting team, but we had chances to put runs on the board," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "We left nine runners on, including after getting the bases loaded in the fifth with one out and not scoring."
Knights' pitchers were behind the proverbial eight-ball much of the evening as Cougar leadoff hitters reached in five of the six times at-bats for North according to McDonald.
"Our pitchers were not able to keep the leadoff man off the bases in every inning," McDonald said. "That leadoff reaches and scored in five of the innings."
North took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Northview starting pitcher Kodie Girton, who allowed three runs over three innings of work.
The Knights responded quickly with three runs in the top of the second frame as Seth Lunsford doubled and scored on a homerun from Andrew Butts. Conner Pierce later added a single and Curtis Grove doubled to put the Knights out front 3-1.
However, the Cougars added two runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings while adding a six-spot in the fifth frame.
Northview's TJ Decker singled in the fourth inning, stole second and came around to score on a base hit by Girton for the Knights' other run.
"We hit the ball very well against a very good pitcher," McDonald said. "The unfortunate thing for us was they made some good plays, but we also hit the ball right at them."
Lunsford starred at the plate with a 3-for-4 game and Zac Niehaus had a base hit in a nine-hit attack for Northview.
Bloomington North had 16 hits off the combined pitching effort of Girton, Caleb Mershon and Coleman Craig. Eight of those hits were for two bases and starting pitcher, Clint Jones, added a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
"The score wasn't indicative of how the game really went. We just got beat by a better team on this night," McDonald said. "We will be fine and be ready to play on Thursday."
Northview (5-1) hosts Shakamak at 5 p.m. this evening for the varsity game followed by a junior varsity contest.
At Bloomington North
2B -- Nv (Niehaus, Lunsford, Grove), BN (Oliphant 2, Stratton 2, Jolivette 2, Funkhouser, Pratt). HR -- Nv (Butts), BN (Jones). SB -- Nv (Decker), BN (Hurt 2, Gould).