Times Sports Editor
Though the Clay City baseball program had beaten Northview just once in 10 contests, the Knights had a little extra motivation after the Eels captured the school's first boys' basketball victory against Northview this winter.
On Tuesday, the Knights took advantage of some wildness by Clay City starting pitcher Brylan Jones and the bottom half of the lineup drove in six runs during a 12-2 win by the Knights.
Jones walked five and hit three batters during three innings of work and Northview No. 9 hitter Devin Clark drove in five runs, including a bases clearing double in a six-run first inning outburst.
Starting pitcher Kodie Girton opened the game with a base hit for the Knights and TJ Decker drew a walk and Zach Hull reached on a fielder's choice. An error on the throw to third base led to Girton crossing the plate for the game's first run. Dan Reberger followed with a two-run double that hit the top of the fence and rolled back into play. Jones then hit Tanner Glenn with a pitch and Craig Peters loaded the bases with a walk. Clark drilled a three-run double that dropped into centerfield to put the Knights ahead 6-0.
"It's early for us, but those are mistakes that we just can't have. (Northview) took advantage of them tonight," Clay City coach Vance Edmondson said.
Clay City had a rally of its own in the second inning as Jones and Blake Cesinger led off with hits to set the plate for Colton Harbour to deposit a two-run double into the right-centerfield gap.
Girton allowed a single by Clay City catcher Zach Boggs, but was able to get out of any further damage. While the Knights lefty wasn't at his sharpest, he allowed just two runs over five innings while striking out seven and walking one.
"His control just wasn't as sharp as we wanted it to be," McDonald said of Girton. "(Pitches) kept tailing their way back across the plate. He left them too many pitches out across the plate. He was consistent with the strike zone, but too consistent."
Northview answered back in its half of the second inning as Decker led off with a double, Hull was hit-by-pitch and both advanced on a double-steal. Reberger put the ball into play and reached on an error as Decker scored. Hull would score as a throw to second base sailed into centerfield for an 8-2 lead.
Jones would walk Glenn and Brock Smith to load the bases again and Clark brought a run home with a walk.
Despite the double-digit run production, McDonald wasn't happy with just six hits in the game.
"I wasn't real happy with our hitters. I don't think we did a good job at the plate in terms of finding that release point. We've got to get more hits than that," McDonald said. "Twelve runs might look nice, but in the grand scheme of things that's not what we want. For the most part, our hitters did a good job of being disciplined at the plate, but when we were swinging the bats we just weren't very good."
Despite falling to 0-3, Edmondson wasn't too upset about his team's effort against Girton and the Knights.
"I told the guys that this is probably one of the top (pitchers) that we'll see all year. If we can put the ball in play and get some solid hits against him, then I think we can hit with anyone on our schedule. If we're going to take anything away from tonight it's going to be that.
"We'll get back to work (today) and work on some defensive stuff," Edmondson added. "We just have to work on cutting down the errors and the hit batters."
Northview 12, Clay City 2
|Denker ss||3||0||0||0||Girton p||4||1||1||0|
|Barrett 3b||2||0||0||0||Decker ss||3||1||1||1|
|Smith lf||2||0||0||0||Hull 1b||3||2||0||0|
|Jones p||3||1||1||0||Pierce rf||3||0||0||0|
|B.Cesinger cf||2||0||1||0||Reberger dh||3||2||2||2|
|Harbour 1b||2||0||2||2||Ball pr||0||1||0||0|
|Boggs c||2||0||1||0||Glenn c||0||2||0||0|
|Persinger rf||2||0||0||0||Peters 2b||2||2||0||0|
|T.Smith 2b||2||0||0||0||B.Smith 3b||1||0||0||1|
2B -- CC (Harbour), Nv (Decker, Reberger 2, Clark). SB -- CC (Denker 2), Nv (Girton, Decker, Hull, Clark). DP -- Nv 1, CC None.
|Girton (W, 1-0)||5.0||2||5||1||7|
|Jones (L, 0-2)||3.0||12||5||5||5|