June 18, 2016
Northview Offense in Fifth, Sixth Innings Delivers School's First State Title
Northview pitcher Braydon Tucker kept his team within striking distance of Western through the first four and a half innings of the Class 3A state championship baseball game. His teammates returned the favor with clutch hits in the fifth and sixth innings to deliver the Knights to their first team state title of any kind in school history.
After tying the game in the bottom of the fifth, Hayden France drove home Alex Reinoehl for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Tucker shut down Western in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the win, capping an impressive performance. The sophomore allowed just four hits and struck out nine – including the last two batters – to finish the season 10-1.
Northview finished the season 25-6 under Head Coach Craig Trout. Western, which won the 2012 Class 3A title, finished 18-14 for Head Coach Quentin Brown.
Western struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Brodee Lipinski singled and moved to second when Tyler Burthay walked. One out later, Jacob Douglass singled Lipinski home.
Western threatened again in the top of the fifth when Douglass reached second on an error and Luke Florek walked with one out. But Tucker got an easy fly ball for the second out and then a fielder’s choice that forced Douglass at third to end the inning.
After leaving runners on second and third in the bottom of the fourth, Northview finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Luke Lancaster opened with a single and took second on France’s sacrifice bunt.
Lancaster moved to third on a wild pitch and Matt Clawson followed with a walk. After a pop-up to first base for the second out, Jase Glassburn’s infield grounder wasn’t fielded cleanly. The error brought Lancaster home, tying the game at 1.
Western managed to put runners on first and third with two outs in the top of the sixth but couldn’t convert, setting the stage for Northview’s rally in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Reinoehl drew a full-count walk. He moved to second on Lancaster’s single and then came home on France’s bloop single into shallow right field.
Western senior pitcher Dalton Leighty (9-3) pitched well in the loss. He scattered seven hits over six innings, striking out six and walking just two.
This year's state finals enjoyed record attendance. Combined with a record Friday night crowd of 6,799, Saturday drew a three-game record 7,082 totaling 13,881, a new four-game mark.