Times Sports Editor
After opening the day with a victory over Bellmont, the Knights' baseball team closed out the Northview Invitational with a resounding victory over Gibson Southern, 13-3 in five innings.
"This game was important for us to learn how to close out a tournament," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "Gibson Southern put up a 14-0 shut out on Bellmont in the game before."
Playing in the unfamiliar visitors' role on their home diamond, Zach Hull played the role of Zeus in helping overthrow the Titans with a two-run home run in the first inning. His blast brought Zac Niehaus home after he had driven in Kodie Girton with a triple. The extra base hits gave Northview a quick 3-0 advantage.
Gibson Southern added a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame against Northview starter, TJ Decker.
The Knights got back to the top of their lineup in the second inning and plated two more runs after Girton hit an infield single and Andrew Butts was hit-by-pitch. Both runners came around to score as Niehaus smacked a double to put the Knights up 5-1.
The third inning proved to be the biggest for Northview as Seth Lunsford got things started with a lead-off single. Curtis Grove reached via a Titans' error and both runners scored on a single by Joey Thomas.
"We were able to come out early and put up big innings to get into their bullpen. Once again, the kids were able to get big, two-out RBI's," McDonald said. "Niehaus and Hull both went to the opposite field, which is important for them to show their power to all fields, Grove also went to the opposite field for his double. We have really stressed taking what the pitcher gives them."
The Knights finished the game off in the fifth inning as Hull reached base on a fielder's choice and Lunsford moved him to third with a double. Grove followed with his opposite field double to bring both runs home for a 13-3 lead.
Lunsford finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate and Niehaus was 2-for-3. Girton had a hit and stole two bases in the victory that pushed the Knights' record to 9-1 overall. Gibson Southern fell to 7-7 and Bellmont finished 7-2. Northview travels to Plainfield this evening at 5 p.m.
2B -- Nv (Lunsford, Grove). 3B -- Nv (Niehaus). HR -- Nv (Hull).
Decker (W, 2-0) and Kleiber (5) and Lunsford; Whitten, Martin (3) and Elpers, Schmitt (5).