A long playoff run may have been in the cards for the 2020 version of the Nokomis High School baseball team had the pandemic not struck last March. While many of those players have graduated, the Redskins showed that they are still someone to be reckoned with in 2021.
In their opening game of the season the Redskins scored more runs than many do in a week’s worth of games, routing Edinburg 26-1 in four innings. Fifteen hits, 15 walks and two errors resulted in 11 runs in the first inning, 10 runs in the second and five runs in the first for Nokomis, who also has a new head coach, Donovan Riley, who takes over for Brian Pesko.
Four different players would have four hits apiece for the Redskins, with Cooper Bertolino and Matthew Ulrici both contributing three apiece. Bertolino was 3-for-3 with two walks, three runs scored and five runs batted in. Ulrici would go 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and three more driven in.
Elijah Aumann would go 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs, while Hunter Broers was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, one RBI and three walks.
Senior shortstop Ben Clavin was one of five players with one hit, but walked four times and scored four runs for the Redskins.
While the offense was apparent, the Redskins also brought their “A game” on the mound, with starter Hunter Broers pitching a 1-hitter. Broers would strike out nine batters, walk none and allow just one run, which came in the fourth inning.
The Redskins made a bid for two in a row on Tuesday, but a late rally fell just short in a 6-3 road loss to Metro-East Lutheran.
The Knights scored five of their six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie, with one more run added on in the bottom of the sixth for insurance.
Nokomis would try to get those runs back in the seventh, with Benny Clavin, Cooper Bertolino and Matthew Ulrici driving in Nolan Himes, Gavin Lipe and Elijah Aumann against starter Erik Broekemeier and reliever Luke Neath. Tommy Hockethall would come on as the Knights’ third pitcher of the inning and strike out the final two batters to end the game.
The Redskins would outhit the Knights 9-4 in the game, but committed three errors to account for three unearned runs. Elijah Aumann would go 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Benny Clavin and Cooper Bertolino also had two hits apiece.
On the mound, Clavin was masterful in the first four innings, giving up one hit and three walks while striking out three. Austin Thornton would take the loss with three runs (two earned) on three walks and no hits, while Cooper Bertolino and Cade Johnson also pitched.
Bertolino allowed two unearned runs on one hit to finish up the fifth, while Johnson gave up one run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
April 26 at Nokomis
Edinburg 000 1 1 1 2
Nokomis (11)(10)5 x 26 15 0
Edinburg IP R ER H K BB
L-Glasscock 1.1 11 11 7 2 4
Patterson 0.0 6 6 2 0 4
Foli 1.1 9 5 5 1 6
Peden 0.1 0 0 1 0 1
*Glasscock 1 HBP
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
W-Broers 4 1 1 1 9 0
Multiple Hits: Nokomis - Cooper Bertolino 3-3, Matthew Ulrici 3-4, Hunter Broers 2-2, Elijah Aumann 2-3. 2B: Nokomis - Hunter Broers 1, Ryan Eisenbarth 1, Elijah Aumann 1. Runs: Nokomis - Benny Clavin 4, Elijah Aumann 3, Cooper Bertolino 3, Matthew Ulrici 3, Ryan Eisenbarth 3, Hunter Broers 2, Brenton Lyons 2, Austin Thornton 2. RBI: Nokomis - Cooper Bertolino 5, Elijah Aumann 3, Matthew Ulrici 3, Brenton Lyons 2, Austin Thornton 2.
April 27 at Edwardsville
Nokomis 000 000 3 3 9 3
M-E Lutheran 000 051 x 6 4 0
Nokomis IP R ER H K BB
Clavin 4 0 0 1 3 3
L-Thornton 0.1 3 2 0 0 3
Bertolino 0.2 2 0 1 0 1
Johnson 1 2 1 2 2 1
*Clavin 1 HBP
MEL IP R ER H K BB
W-Broekemeier 6.1 1 1 5 15 2
Neath 0.0 2 2 4 0 1
Hockethal 0.2 0 0 0 2 0
Nokomis Batting Statistics
Multiple Hits: Nokomis - Elijah Aumann 3-4, Ben Clavin 2-4, Cooper Bertolino 2-4; Metro-East Lutheran - Johnson 2-4. 2B: Nokomis - Landon Engelman 1; Metro-East Lutheran - Broekemeier 1, Johnson 1. Runs: Nokomis - Elijah Aumann 1, Nolan Himes 1, Gavin Lipe 1. RBI: Ben Clavin 1, Cooper Bertolino 1, Matthew Ulrici 1.
Record: Nokomis (1-1).