For the Brazil Times
A lot of things went wrong for the Northview Knights on Saturday in the Northview Baseball Invitational. The Knights committed a combined seven errors and trailed by four runs in both games.
But when the day was over, the Knights had a split and an 8-4 record. Northview dropped a 6-5 decision to Lawrence Central, but bounced back to overpower Gibson Southern 10-5 in the final game. Lawrence Central is 8-5 after beating Gibson Southern 10-5.
"These guys are all in, all 20 guys, with what we're trying to accomplish. They support each other, even the guys that aren't in (the game), they're still trying to pick each other up. It's a good team. Not good in the sense of talent, we have talent. It's a good team in the fact they will do what ever it takes to help each other win," Northview coach Scott McDonald said.
Facing a breaking-ball pitcher in game one after a Friday night prom did not help the Knights. Lawrence Central's Alex Kryah (3-0) had the Knights guessing into the sixth inning.
"We weren't real disciplined at the plate. We chased some pitches that were out of the (strike) zone. But we centered up on the fastball pretty well early. Zach Hull put a couple of good swings on the ball and Connor Pierce put a couple of good swings, but we just chased too many pitches in the dirt and we weren't disciplined enough."
Hull and Pierce were each 2-4 at the plate to lead Northview's seven-hit attack.
The LC Bears built a 5-1 lead through five innings before the Knights got to Kryah in the sixth.
Dan Reberger led off the sixth with a single and Tyler Wilson was hit by a pitch. After a pitching change, Reberger scored on a Devin Clark single and Decker came home on a double steal.
Northview closed within one, 6-5, in the seven when Craig Peters reached base on an error and eventually scored on Reberger's sacrifice fly to center field. However, the tying run was stranded on first base.
"These guys obviously want to win every game we play and that's what is good about them. There are some things I should have done differently in that first game and they bounced back," McDonald.
In game one, the Knights' two errors got them beat. Lawrence Central scored three unearned runs in the first inning when an error opened the door. LC scored the game-winning run after a dropped fly ball.
In game two, Northview made three errors in the first three innings and Gibson Southern took a 4-1 lead. Once the Knights' tied the score 4-4 with a three-run fifth inning, another defensive error allowed the Titans to go ahead 5-4.
"It was just one of those days where everything didn't go right that could have for us... high school baseball. There are going to be days where you make errors and days you don't," McDonald said.
Northview tied the game 4-4 with a three-run third inning. Tyler Wilson led off with a walk, Peters was hit by a pitch and Hull delivered a run-scoring double. Pierce singled to drive in both Peters and Hull with the tying runs.
Gibson Southern took a 5-4 lead in the fifth with the help of a Northview error. This time the Knights responded in their traditional way -- they hit the ball.
Northview erupted for six runs on five hits, sending 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning to take a 10-5 lead.
Three consecutive Northview batters -- Clark, Bryant Pestoff and Wilson -- drove the ball down the right field line, just inches inside the foul line. Wilson 's double scored two runs.
"We talked all week going into this weekend about going the other way with the ball. We're a lot more successful when we stay on the ball, when we hit the ball to the right side or left side, which ever it happens to be," McDonald said.
Then Peters received a walk, moved to third on a single by Kodie Girton and scored on a ground ball by Reberger. T.J. Decker doubled to bring in Reberger and he came home on an error.
Decker led Northview's 11-hit offense with three hits. Wilson, Peters, Hull, Decker and Clark each connected on doubles.
Northview returns to action on Tuesday at Brown County. The Knights next home game is Wednesday against Mooresville.