Times Sports Editor
Northview got contributions in various forms from each of the eight seniors in the lineup against Vincennes Lincoln Tuesday night. However, the Alices were able to scratch out a run in the top of the seventh inning to edge the Knights 5-4 in non-conference baseball.
The Knights rallied back from a 3-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the fourth inning as senior Zach Hull singled, classmate Tyler Wilson walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Senior shortstop TJ Decker sliced a two-run double to the rightfield wall to get the Knights back into the game. The Alices brought senior Gunnar Hutchison in to pitch and his wild pitch quickly moved Decker to third as senior Coleman Craig smacked a double to center to tie up the game.
Northview starting pitcher Kodie Girton was pitching behind in the count most of the evening, which made Vincennes' hitters even more effective at the plate early on.
The Alices left two on base in the second inning before scratching out a run in the third on consecutive singles by Taylor George, Hutchison and Bryce Nowaskie. Vincennes pushed that lead to 3-0 in the fourth as Girton walked Montgomery and his pinch runner moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch. Avory Mickens walked and Nick Klumpp's RBI ground out gave the Alices a 2-0 lead. A double by George added the game's third run for Vincennes.
Northview coach credited the Alices for taking advantage of their opportunities at the plate.
"(Vincennes) hit the ball really well, better than any team that we've seen," McDonald said. "I thought our pitching was pretty good. The problem we ran into was we fell behind in the count for various reasons. Then you had to serve one up down the gut and anybody can hit the ball down the middle. Overall, it was a good atmosphere for us to get ready for the sectional."
Vincennes was able to regain the lead as Northview reliever Brock Wheeler struggled with his control and gave up a lead off walk to Montgomery and he moved to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch before coming home on a sacrifice fly.
The Alices had a chance at more damage after George laid down a bunt single, moved to third on a steal and another wild pitch. However, a second wild pitch sent George digging for home, but catcher Tanner Glenn relayed a throw to Wheeler, who tagged George out at the plate.
The Knights used some more senior magic in the bottom of the inning to tie the score as Wheeler picked up a base hit in his first at-bat of the season and Dan Reberger later brought him home with an RBI single to tie the game.
In the seventh inning however, Vincennes loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks, one of them was intentional. A chopper by Connor Vieck was thrown home, but Hutcheson beat the attempted force out as Vieck was thrown out. Wheeler escaped more trouble as he struck out Montgomery for the second out. Nowaskie would try and score on another wild pitch, but Glenn threw to Wheeler for the final out of the inning. However, the damage was already done.
Hutcheson was able to finish off the win despite giving up a walk to Hull in the seventh.
"All the seniors have meant a lot to the program and meant a lot to me for various reasons. They are a great group of kids. Coleman (Craig) came up there and got a big hit and (Brock) Wheeler, now is the leading hitter in the state," McDonald joked. "A lot of good things came out of tonight for those guys and most importantly for their families."
Girton, Hull, Wilson, Decker, Bryant Pestoff, Craig, Wheeler and Glenn were all honored for their contributions to the Knights' program.
The Knights (17-5 overall) travel to Jasper for a 7 p.m. Friday contest.
2B -- Nv (Hull, Decker, Craig), VL (George). SB -- VL (George, Brant Nowaskie).
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