A four-run eighth inning spoiled a comeback from the Nokomis baseball team and kept the Redskins from the season sweep of Mt. Olive on Thursday, May 13.
For four innings the two teams battled it out in a scoreless tie, just two days after the Redskins had beaten the Wildcats 7-1 in Nokomis. Benny Clavin had the Redskins’ only hit in that span, a two-out single in the third, while Mt. Olive was held hitless by Nokomis starter Matthew Ulrici.
The Wildcats’ first hit would come in the bottom of the fifth inning and would lead to the game’s first run. Blake Schehl doubled to start the inning, but looked like he might be stranded at second after back-to-back strikeouts by Ulrici.
But with two outs, Adam Knowles would rope the second pitch he saw to left field for a double, allowing Schehl to score and break up the scoreless tie.
Cooper Bertolino would come on in relief and get Trent Markezich out on a liner to second to avoid further damage.
The Wildcats would get another run in the second after Bryce Tooley reached on an error and scored on a double by Garrett Dickerson, but Bertolino got out of trouble when Owen Scheller flied out to center and Dickerson was called out after failing to tag up for the third out of the inning.
Nokomis was down to their final three outs unless they solved Mt. Olive ace Carter Monke, who hadn’t given up a hit since Clavin’s single in the third.
The Redskins started off the inning with a walk to Brenton Lyons, but a fielder’s choice by Hunter Broers erased Lyons and put Mason Stauder on first base as a courtesy runner. Monke’s second walk of the inning and sixth walk of the game chased the Mt. Olive senior from the mound and put Ryan Eisenbarth on first, with Stauder on second.
The switch to Blake Schehl did not change the fortunes of the Wildcats in the seventh as Jaxon Batty welcomed him to the mound with a single that loaded the bases.
Benny Clavin would make the most of that opportunity as he singled to left field to score both Stauder and Eisenbarth and tie the game at 2-2.
Schehl would strike out the next batter and walk Landon Engelman to load the bases again, but coaxed a fly out to end the top of the seventh with the score still tied.
Mt. Olive threatened to end it in the bottom half of the inning, with Schehl kicking things off with a leadoff double, but Ryan Eisenbarth would come on in relief and get the final three outs to strand the go-ahead run on third.
With new life, Nokomis started out with a single from Ulrici and a walk from Lyons before Schehl got Broers on a ground out that moved both runners up a base.
A single by Eisenbarth would score both runners, but Eisenbarth was tagged out on the base paths for out number two.
Nokomis would tack on an insurance run though, as Batty was hit by a pitch and courtesy ran for by Gavin Lipe. Clavin would pick up his third hit of the game to move Lipe to third, which allowed the senior to score on a wild pitch and make it 5-2 before the final out was recorded.
The Wildcats wouldn’t lay down though as they started the bottom of the eighth with three straight singles to cut the lead to 5-3. A walk, a hit batsman and another base on balls would drive in two more runs and chase Eisenbarth from mound.
Tied 5-5 with the bases loaded and no outs, Elijah Aumann came on in relief with a near impossible task. Blake Dickerson would take the “near” out of that equation and end the game with a walk-off single that plated the winning run.
It was an unfortunate end for the Redskins, who matched the Wildcats hit for hit in the game.
After a day off on Friday, Nokomis tried to rebound on Saturday with a doubleheader at Tri-City against the Tornadoes and Warrensburg-Latham.
In their opening game against Tri-City, the Redskins were held to just one hit and committed 11 errors in the field as they suffered an 8-0 loss to the Tornadoes.
The hosts of the round robin tournament scored once in the first inning, then added another solo tally in the fourth to make it 2-0. A five-run fifth put the game in the Tornadoes’ control, with a solo run in the sixth added on for insurance.
Nokomis’ lone hit came in the second with two outs when Brenton Lyons doubled. Tri-City starter Landon Patton would pick up the third out on a strike out to end the inning, one of his 10 in the game.
Despite the 8-0 final score, only two of the eight runs were earned. Benny Clavin would give up two runs (one earned) on five hits in four innings, striking out five along the way. Cade Johnson pitched the fifth, when Tri-City scored four unearned runs, while Karter Lipe pitched the sixth and allowed one run in spite of not giving up a hit or a walk.
In game two, Warrensburg-Latham jumped on the Redskins early and never let up as they defeated Nokomis 13-3 in six innings.
The Cardinals scored three in the first, four in the third and two in the fourth to take a 9-0 lead, before Nokomis got on the board with three runs in the sixth. All three runs came with two outs as Landon Engelman walked to start the rally.
Cooper Bertolino followed with a single to right that scored Engelman, while the next two batters, Brenton Lyons and Matthew Ulrici reached on errors. The back-to-back miscues plated two more runs and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 9-3.
Warrensburg-Latham answered though, loading the bases on two walks and a single, then adding a run on a sacrifice fly. Heartland Community College recruit Brayden Closs would send everyone home after that as his three-run home run gave the Cardinals a 13-3 win in six.
Benny Clavin, Cooper Bertolino and Brenton Lyons would have the three hits for the Redskins, who are now 2-7 on the season.
Nokomis will have another home-and-home series this week as they play at Father McGivney on Monday, May 17, followed by a home game against the Griffins on May 19.
May 13 at Mt. Olive
Nokomis 00000023 5 8 1
Mt. Olive 00001104 6 8 0
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
Ulrici 4.2 1 1 2 4 3
Bertolino 1.1 1 0 2 0 0
Eisenbarth 1 4 4 3 1 2
Aumann 0 0 0 1 0 0
*Eisenbarth 1 HBP
Mt. Olive IP R ER H K BB
Monke 6.1 2 2 3 12 6
Schehl 1.2 3 3 5 1 2
*Schehl 1 HBP
Multiple Hits: Nokomis - Benny Clavin 3-4; Mt. Olive - Schehl 2-3. 2B: Mt. Olive - Schehl 2, Knowles 1, Dickerson 1. Runs: Nokomis - Matthew Ulrici 1, Brenton Lyons 1, Ryan Eisenbarth 1, Gavin Lipe 1, Mason Stauder 1. RBI: Benny Clavin 2, Ryan Eisenbarth 2.
May 15 at Buffalo
Nokomis 000 000 0 0 1 11
Tri-City 100 151 x 8 7 0
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
Clavin 4 2 1 5 5 1
Johnson 1 5 1 2 1 3
K. Lipe 1 1 0 0 0 0
*Lipe 1 HBP
Tri-City IP R ER H K BB
Patton 7 0 0 1 10 0
Multiple Hits: None. 2B: Nokomis - Brenton Lyons 1; Tri-City - Bryce Ruple 1, Logan Weekly 1, Chase Walters 1.
May 15 at Buffalo
Nokomis 000 003 3 3 4
W'burg-Lath 304 204 13 8 2
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
Thornton 3 7 4 5 0 2
Aumann 2.1 6 6 3 2 3
W'burg-Lath IP R ER H K BB
Hopkins 6 3 1 3 9 2
Multiple Hits: Warrensburg-Latham - Hopkins 3-4, Closs 2-2. 2B: Nokomis - Brenton Lyons 1; Warrensburg-Latham - Allen 1, Thompson 1. 3B: Warrensburg-Latham - Hopkins 1. HR: Warrensburg-Latham - Closs 1.
Record: Nokomis (2-7).