For the Brazil Times
DANVILLE -- After wrapping up the Western Indiana Conference championship on Friday night, the Northview Knights had a little bit of a letdown on Saturday at Danville. But in splitting the doubleheader the Knights may have given coach Scott McDonald some tools to motivate them over the final two weeks of the season.
Northview extended its winning to 10 wins in a row with a 6-3 victory over Danville's Warriors in the first game. Craig Peters (4-0) with the help of Brock Smith and Brock Wheeler and a solid defense kept the Warriors (8-13) in check.
But in game two, Northview's pitchers and hitters struggled with the strike zone early and fell behind 7-0 while committing five errors in an 8-5 loss. At the same time, the Knights had the bases loaded in the seventh and two chances to tie the game, but could not.
"We've kind of hit a little low here toward the end of our season. We're kind of looking forward to Jasper (May 18), Vincennes Lincoln (Tuesday) and going to the Benton Central Tournament (May 19). So we kind of lost a little bit... so we're just kind of flat. That needs to get better," McDonald said after game one.
Northview never trailed in game one, scoring two runs in the second, two in the fourth and two in the seventh.
Kodie Girton, Connor Pierce, Tyler Wilson and Tanner Glenn led the Knights' 11-hit attack with two each. Girton had a double for the only extra-base hit.
Peters (4-0) pitched five innings, Smith entered in the sixth to set up the seventh for Wheeler, the closer.
"It's getting close to the point now where in our minds we're thinking it's a five-inning game. Smith will pitch the sixth, Wheeler will shut it down in the seventh, game's over," McDonald said.
That win gave the Knights a 17-3 record and a 10-game winning streak.
"We put together a pretty good little season so far. They're starting to get a little bit of a mentality 'We're going to beat everybody we play.' So I've got to do a better job of finding little pieces here and there to motivate them, keep them going," McDonald said.
Then came the letdown, five errors, the loss and the end of the winning streak.
"Our defense is what was disappointing. We let the ball play us. We didn't attack it like we had been early."
Danville's Christian Hines shut out Northview for three innings while the Warriors built a 7-0 lead.
"We didn't take good swings. We were trying to do too much with the ball," McDonald said.
The Knights started battling back in the fourth inning. They scored three runs with the help of two Danville errors and a triple by Bryant Pestoff.
Northview cut Danville 's lead to 7-5 with two runs in the fifth when Girton led off with a triple and scored on a ground out. Pierce, T.J. Decker and Pestoff put together consecutive hits to score the second run.
Northview had a chance to pull out the win in the seventh when Danville's pitcher lost the plate. With one out, Pierce, Decker and Pestoff received consecutive walks to load the bases, but the same Danville pitcher, D.J. Eckert, struck out the next two Knights to end the game.
The Knights had seven hits in the contest, two each by Pierce and Pestoff. Girton and Pestoff each had a triple. Peters and Decker each chipped in with one single.
Northview is 17-4 going into Tuesday's home game at 6 p.m. with Vincennes Lincoln.
Northview 6, Danville 3
|Girton cf||4||0||2||0||Eckert c/p||3||1||0||0|
|Peters p||2||1||0||0||Bradshaw 2b||2||0||0||0|
|Pierce rf||3||1||2||1||Thurston cf/c||4||1||2||1|
|Wilson dh||4||2||2||0||Simmons rf||2||0||0||0|
|Moore 2b||0||0||0||0||Deaton cf||0||0||0||0|
|Decker ss||4||0||1||1||Atkinson lf||2||0||1||0|
|Ganley 3b||4||1||0||1||Hines 3b||1||0||1||1|
|Clark lf||3||0||1||0||Dieckmann p||3||0||0||0|
|Glenn c||3||0||2||1||Duckett 1b||2||0||0||0|
E -- Glenn, Atkinson 2, Simmons. DP -- Danville. LOB -- Nv 8, Dv 6. 3B -- Wilson. 2B -- Nv (Girton, Rohn). Sac -- Bradshaw, Simmons, Hines. SB -- Nv (Peters), Dv (Thurston). CS -- Nv (Girton), Dv (Rohn).
|Peters (W, 4-0)||5.0||7||3||3||6||1|
|Wheeler (Sv, 8)||1||0||0||0||1||3|
WP -- Peters, Dieckmann. PB - Eckert. HBP -- Duckett (by Peters), Peters, Pierce, Clark (by Dieckmann).
Danville 8, Northview 5
|Girton cf||4||1||1||0||Eckert 3b/p||4||1||4||2|
|Peters 2b||4||0||1||0||Bradshaw 2b/ss||4||0||1||2|
|Hull 1b||2||0||0||0||Rohn ss||0||1||0||0|
|Wilson ph||1||0||0||0||Duckett 1b/2b||3||0||1||1|
|Pierce rf||3||2||2||0||Thurston c||2||1||0||0|
|Decker ss||2||1||1||1||Simmons cf||4||1||0||0|
|Pestoff dh||3||1||2||2||Atkinson lf||4||0||1||1|
|Craig p||0||0||0||0||Hines p/3b||3||2||2||0|
|Ganley 3b||3||0||0||0||Dieckmann 1b/3b||3||1||0||0|
|Reberger ph||1||0||0||0||Nelson rf||3||1||0||0|
|Clark lf||2||0||0||0||Deaton rf||0||0||0||0|
E -- Peters 2, Hull , Ganly, Stewart, Eckert, Rohn. DP -- Danville . LOB -- Nv 8, Dv 9. 3B -- Girton, Pestoff, Eckert. SAC -- Stewart. SB -- Decker, Eckert, Thurston, Hines. CS -- None.
WP -- Hines. PB - None. HBP -- Clark (by Eckert).
Next game: Northview (17-4, 6-0 in WIC) plays at home against Vincennes Lincoln on Tuesday at 6 p.m.