Knights slide past Panthers

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Riverside’s Matt Wisniewski (blue jersey) slides safely into home plate as Northside catcher Neal Gibbs attempts to apply a tag during the Knights 9-2 win over the Panthers in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs at Riverside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

WILLIAMSTON — The hits were there, but they didn’t always come at the right time for Northside as it fell 9-2 to Riverside in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs on Tuesday.
The No. 5 Panthers (14-11, Four Rivers) clubbed a total of 10 hits and scored two runs in the first three innings but could not keep pace with the No. 2 (15-11, Four Rivers) who used 11 hits and took advantage of thee Northside errors to tally nine runs.
“We were duking it out for the first three innings, it was some good baseball,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “There was just a couple of times early where we had runners on with two outs where we could have broken ahead but we just didn’t get that hit.”
The Knights did get that hit as Matt Wisniewski fell behind 1-2 in the count before delivering a two-out, two- run double to score Mathew Ange and Will Gurganus and break a 2-2 tie to give Riverside a 4-2 lead. Wisniewski’s shot would prove to be the game-winner.
“Matt’s one of our better hitters. That guy’s a warrior. He wants to be at the plate in that position,” Riverside coach Hank Tice said. “I thought our lineup, 1-9, found a lot of ways to score runs.”
Northside struck early as a Neal Gibbs single scored Caleb Sherman in to the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.
Riverside answered back in the home half of the inning as Lucas Gloover came up with an RBI base hit to score Ange and tie the game at one apiece.
The Knights would take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Wisniewski scored a second ahead of a Northside throw to home plate on Tommy Knott sac fly.
The Panthers responded in the third when Dillon Cutler blasted and RBI single to center to score Gibbs and tie the ball game at two all.
After the third inning, Gloover got in a groove and allowed only two hits the rest of the way to get the win. Gloover pitched all seven innings for Riverside as he scattered 10 hits, struck out three and walked one.
Gloover’s counterpart Marsh would pitch six innings and allowed eight hits while striking out four in a losing effort.
After Wisniewski’s two-run single, the Knights added two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to close out the game. With the win, Riverside will advance to the District Round of the playoffs where it will face Perquimans, the No. 1 seed from the Four Rivers Conference, on the road Friday.
As for the Panthers, Boyd said his team has been a pleasure to coach all season.
“These kids battled all the way till the end but we just ran into a good Riverside team,” Boyd said. “I just want to thank all six of my seniors for dedicating there time to this program and I just hope the rest of them can build on what they started.”

Northside 101 000 0 — 2 10 3
Riverside 112 023  X — 9 11 0
WP: Lucas Gloover; LP: Brandon Marsh
Hitting: N — Caleb Sherman 1-3, Brandon Marsh 1-4 (2B), Neal Gibbs 2-3 (RBI), Dillon Cutler 2-4 (RBI), Grey Burbage 1-3 (2B), Tyler Waters 1-3, Ben Hudson 1-3, Caleb Coltrain 1-3; R— Mathew Ange 3-4 (RBI), Will Gurganus 1-3 (2B), Lucas Gloover 2-3, Matt Wisniewski 2-4 (2 RBI), Thomas Knott 1-4 (RBI).