Times Sports Editor
AVON -- There was little margin for error for teams competing in the Class 4A baseball regional at Avon High School on Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Northview Knights, they made several very costly mistakes right out of the gate and Roncalli made them pay dearly, scoring eight runs, none of them earned, in the first inning to down the Knights 16-0 in five innings.
"We just had pathetic defense there in that first inning and that basically took us out of anything we could possibly do," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "I think we had four errors in that first inning and you just can't give extra outs over and over again. It took us out of any situation we could have gotten any bunts down or anything productive."
TJ Decker, winner of two of Northview's three sectional games, took the mound at the start and gave up a pair of one out singles in the first inning. However, it appeared he would get out of it as he coaxed a potential double play ball, but it was misplayed and the bases were loaded. The next Rebel hitter bounced a ball through a pair of Northview fielders and Roncalli pushed two runs across the plate.
Roncalli senior Chase Steinbrunner followed with an RBI base hit as the lead grew to 3-0. With two outs, the potential third out of the frame was dropped as a flyball was misplayed and the inning continued to spiral out of control as a pair of walks and base hits advanced the Roncalli lead to 8-0.
"The whole thing was zapped in that first inning. The top of the first, with the errors that were made, that was the difference," McDonald said. "We look up and we're down 8-0 and we hadn't even hit yet. There isn't really a response you can give to that."
The Knights were unable to do much else against Hawk, who threw the first two innings, or Steinbrunner, who was the sectional winning pitcher against Warren Central.
Northview had just one hit in the contest and two base runners over the five inning contest.
The Rebels were able to add a pair of runs in the second inning and five more in the third to put the game away early. Girton came in to finish the final three innings and struck out seven while allowing one run.
"I thought (Kodie Girton) threw well and I don't think TJ (Decker) threw bad," McDonald said. "Zach (Hull), TJ and Kodie were four-year starters and that sectional title was a great way to cap their careers. This one will hurt for a minute, but the sun will come out tomorrow, their parents will still love them and life will go on."
In addition to those three seniors, the Knights will also graduate Tyler Wilson, Craig Coleman, Tanner Glenn, Brock Wheeler and Bryant Pestoff.
Northview finished the season at 21-9 overall as Roncalli advanced to face Brownsburg, a 13-0 winner over Anderson, in the title game. The Rebels would pick up the win against the Bulldogs, 5-4 to move on to the semi-state.
Class 4A Avon Baseball Regional
2B -- R (Fey, Reeser, Simpkins, Wright). LOB -- Nv (2), R (9).
|Decker (L, 6-2)||0.2||8||0||5||2||0|