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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Starting pitcher Colin Brockhouse allowed an unearned run in four innings for Northrop on Thursday. He also had three extra-base hits.

Bruins close to clinching SAC crown

Pitching depth allows Northrop to weather scheduling havoc

– This season, the SAC changed teams’ baseball schedules to include playing each conference opponent twice, usually during the same week. But the inconvenient, inclement spring weather had other plans, making for an interesting conference race that has sometimes had teams playing four SAC games in a single week.

Northrop’s deep pitching staff has helped it weather the scheduling storm, and a 3-1 win over Bishop Luers on Thursday at Indiana Tech put the Bruins on the verge of the conference championship.

“The weather put a little bit of a damper on everybody because most of the schools have had to play four conference games in a week, and that’s tough,” Northrop coach Matt Brumbaugh said. “We are fortunate because we have been able to win some games because our pitching is so good.”

Class 4A No. 5 Northrop (17-2, 11-1 SAC) can clinch the league title with a win in two games next week against South Side.

“We expected it,” Northrop junior pitcher/third baseman Colin Brockhouse said of the team’s success. “We came into the season thinking we had a little swagger, I guess, and you expect to win and you expect to do good every game.

“We think the SAC is ours, and we just have to just play Tuesday-Thursday against South Side and bring it into the playoffs. If we win the SAC title, we can go a long way on the road to state.”

Brockhouse picked up the win after going four innings and combining with senior Cory Ferguson to give up one hit and one unearned run. Senior Tyler Huth (a Purdue recruit) has also been a stalwart on the mound for the Bruins.

Brockhouse produced offensively, going 3 for 4 with two doubles and a triple, scoring twice and getting an RBI.

“Pitching-wise, he came out and threw very well and gave up just the one bad run,” Brumbaugh said of Brockhouse. “Hitting-wise, he has been like that all year. He is a tough out, and he gets his licks in.”

The right-handed Brockhouse pitched the first couple of innings with a college scout from Xavier sitting in the stands behind home plate.

“At the beginning of the year, I had about seven to nine scouts right behind home plate gunning me,” Brockhouse said.

“I was a little nervous then, but since the season has progressed, I have gotten used to it.”

Northrop jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Brockhouse’s triple scored Nathan Schreiber, and Huth got Brockhouse home on a sacrifice fly. The Knights (9-8, 6-6) cut the lead in half when a throwing error allowed Aaron LaMaster to score from second base in the second.

The Bruins got the third run in when Brockhouse doubled and came home on a single from Corey Bloom in the third inning.

“Luers is a tough team to play,” Brumbaugh said. “They find ways to put pressure on you, and they don’t make mistakes.”

gjones@jg.net

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