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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Knights clinch share of WIC title with win over Vikings

Monday, May 7, 2012

Northview's TJ Decker slides in safely ahead of the throw for a stolen base on Monday. Decker had three hits and scored twice in the win. [Order this photo]

Times Sports Editor

The Northview baseball team has been snake bitten when its come to facing rival West Vigo on the diamond. However, on Monday night, the Knights scored five runs over the first two innings and got strong pitching and defense to close out a 7-3 win over the Vikings. The win finished off a perfect 3-0 mark for Northview in the Big Four Tourney and clinched a share of the WIC title.

Starting pitcher Craig Peters (right) taps the mitts of infielders TJ Decker and Kyle Moore after an inning ending double play.
"That was a great win for us. I haven't beaten West Vigo since I've been the head coach. I think every time we've gone over there I've done something stupid to screw it up," McDonald joked. "For the most part, we were in pretty good shape all night."

The Knights had plenty of reason to wait until Brock Wheeler retired Cogan Stewart for the final out of the game to celebrate after the Vikings rallied for a 5-3 win with a walk-off three-run home run.

This time around however, it was the Knights who got 5 2/3 innings from starter Craig Peters, allowing just one earned run as his defense turned a pair of double plays behind him. Brock Wheeler came in with two outs in the sixth inning and two Vikings on base. He struck out leadoff hitter Cade Lindsay for the final out and then stranded a runner in the seventh inning to claim his sixth save of the night to break his coach's season-record of five.

"Our pitching was really good. I thought we hit the ball extremely well tonight. Our defense was pretty good. The big thing was that we were able to close them out finally," McDonald said.

Northview jumped out to a first inning lead as Peters drilled a one-out double to the leftfield wall and came home on a looping double by Conner Pierce that landed on the leftfield line.

The Vikings took advantage of a dropped third strike, an error on a throw and an RBI single by Davie Inman. Viking No. 9 hitter Brandon Calleja dropped a double down the rightfield line for a 2-1 West Vigo lead.

The Knights responded with a four-run second inning off Calleja to regain the lead.

TJ Decker smacked a double to leftfield, Tanner Glenn was hit-by-pitch and Devin Clark laid down a perfect push bunt past Callejo for a single to load the bases. Sophomore third baseman Conner Ganly drove in a run with a ground out and Kodie Girton ripped a two-run double to right-centerfield. Peters added his second double of the game to drive in Girton for a 5-2 lead.

West Vigo had a runner on in the third, but Peters coaxed Thornton to ground into an inning ending double play. In the fourth inning, Peters stranded another runner by striking out Braiden Cardinal to end the threat.

Finally in the fifth inning, West Vigo loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single by Kaleb Blair. Thornton sent an RBI single to leftfield for a run, but the Knights got another double play to limit the damage to a single run.

McDonald was very happy with how Peters battled despite not being as sharp as other outings this season.

Northview coach Scott McDonald (No. 27) congratulates senior Brock Wheeler after he closed out the win over West Vigo and broke the single-season mark for saves with six.
"It wasn't one of Craig's better games. He's pitched extremely well for us all year," McDonald said of the junior righthander. "Since it wasn't one of his better games, he showed the mentality that he was going to go out there and win without his best stuff. He gave us six strong innings, which was what we wanted."

Northiew got the run back in the bottom of the sixth inning as Zach Hull walked to start the inning and moved to second on a passed ball. With two outs, Decker drilled his second double for an RBI to complete a 3-for-3 night at the plate. Tyler Wilson pinch hit and pushed the lead to 7-3 with an RBI base hit.

West Vigo had designs on another come back in the sixth inning as Inman singled before Lucas Fagg hit into a fielder's choice. Fagg stole second and Calleja drew a two-out walk that ended Peters' night on the mound.

Wheeler came out of the pen and struck Lindsay out to help cement McDonald's first win over the Vikings as head coach and the team's first win since 2006 versus West Vigo.

"If we have the lead after five innings, we feel that we're going to win with Brock bringing up the end of the rotation for us," McDonald said. "I think it's great. Lord knows that as I get older, I get better as I tell the story. The fact that he was able to do it at home against our toughest conference rival and preserve at least a share of a conference title, meant a lot to us and I know it means a lot to him and his parents."

The Knights are now 14-3 overall and 4-0 in the WIC with a road trip to conference foe South Vermillion tonight at 6 p.m.

At Northview High School

Northview 7, West Vigo 3

NorthviewabrhbiWest Vigoabrhbi
Girton cf4122Lindsay lf3000
Peters p4131Blair 1b4010
Hull 1b3100K.Stewart rf3010
Pierce rf3011Thornton cf4121
Reberger dh3000C.Stewart c4000
Decker ss3231Inman 2b3131
Glenn c1100Fagg ss3000
Wilson ph1011Cardinal 3b3000
Clark lf3110Calleja p1111
Ganly 3b3001
West Vigo0200100-380

2B -- Nv (Peters 2, Decker 2, Girton, Pierce), WV (Calleja). SB -- Nv (Decker, Wilson), WV (Fagg). Sac -- Wv (Lindsay). LOB -- Nv 5, WV 8.


Peters (W, 2-1)5.23734
Wheeler (Sv, 6)1.10102
Calleja (L, 6-2)6.071111