The Nokomis Redskin baseball team has a lot of optimism heading into the 2019 season, as they return six starters from last season.
That season saw the Skins go 21-3 before falling to the eventual state runner-up Valmeyer in the Sweet Sixteen. Two of the six returning starters are Carter Sabol and Evan Herpstrieth, two of the top performing pitchers from last season.
Both would see the mound in their season opener on Thursday, March 21, but the Skins would still fall to Carlinville 9-7.
The Redskins started their 2019 campaign with Carter Sabol on the bump and he would get off to a solid start to his season, picking up five early strikeouts and leading the Skins to 2-0 lead after three innings.
But the Cavalier bats would come alive in the fourth inning as they sent 13 hitters to the plate and scored seven runs. They would go on to score two more in the fifth and take a commanding 9-2 lead heading into the final two frames.
But the Redskins didn’t surrender, as the first five hitters that stepped to the plate in the top half of the sixth got base hits and scored to cut the lead back to just two runs.
After putting away the Cavies in the bottom half of the sixth, Landon Engelman and Benny Clavin got on base with two outs, giving leadoff hitter Evan Herpstrieth a chance to extend the game with the tying run on base.
Herpstrieth got a hold of a ball but the leftfielder tracked it down, handing the Redskins a loss in their season opener. Eight Redskins picked up a hit, while Engelman and Ryan Janssen each had two.
Nokomis vs. Marquette
The Redskins were back in action on Tuesday, March 26, as they hosted the Alton Marquette Explorers. Despite strong pitching by the Redskins, they ultimately fell by a score of 2-0.
Much like in basketball, the annual match-up between Alton Marquette and Nokomis is always close and usually decides the Prairie State Conference champion. The Redskins beat the Explorers and won the conference in 2016 but haven’t been able to beat them since.
Knowing the game plays big in the conference, the Skins walked out Carter Sabol to pitch. Despite five walks and two hit batsmen, Sabol worked out of multiple jams and only allowed one run before handing the ball off to Evan Herpstrieth with two outs in the fourth.
Herpstrieth and Drew Masset continued the solid work on the mound for the rest of the game, but the Redskin bats failed to ever get anything going.
After stranding five men on the bases in the first two innings, Nokomis would only reach second base one more time the rest of the game.
The offensive struggles gave Alton Marquette a 2-0 win, their third straight win over the Redskins, all of which have been two-run games.
The loss moves the Redskins to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in the conference. They will play at Pawnee on Friday, March 29, at 4:30 p.m.
March 21 at Carlinville
Nokomis 101 005 0 7 9 3
Carlinville 000 720 x 9 10 5
Multiple Hits: Nokomis - Ryan Janssen (2-3, 1RBI), Landon Engelman (2-4, 1RBI); Carlinville - Lonny Rosentreter (2-3, 1RBI), Colton DeLong (2-3, 1RBI), Tucker Hughes (2-3, 1RBI). 2B: Nokomis - Carter Sabol 1 . 3B: - Carlinville - Jake Ambuel 1, Tucker Hughes 1.
March 26 at Nokomis
Marquette 010 010 0 2 2 0
Nokomis 000 000 0 0 5 4
Marquette IP R ER H K BB
W-Warren 7 0 0 5 4 3
*Warren 1 HBP
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
L-Sabol 3.2 1 1 0 6 5
*Sabol 2 HBP
Multiple Hits: Nokomis - Carter Sabol (2-3). 2B: Marquette - Garrett Weiner 1, Carter Hendricks 1; Nokomis - Carter Sabol 1.
Records: Nokomis (0-2); Marquette (6-4).