Baseball: Big second inning keys Somonauk’s bounce back win over Earlville

Somonauk's Silas Johnson is called safe at the plate as Earlville catcher Joe Clifford misses the tag on Friday, April 12, 2024 at Earlville High School.

EARLVILLE – Somonauk coach Troy Felton and Earlville coach Dillon Reel talked a lot about the mental side of baseball after Friday’s Little Ten Conference contest.

The Bobcats, who fell to the Red Raiders in the series opener Thursday at home, broke things open in the top of the second inning by scoring nine runs and eventually posted a 16-4 victory in five innings.

“On the bus before we left to come over here, we had a little chat,” Felton said, his squad now 2-6 overall and 2-2 in the LTC. “I can only hope [Thursday’s 7-3 loss] awoke a sleeping giant. We have all the pieces to be a very successful team, but [Thursday’s] game we did so many things – sloppy baserunning and way too many walks – that no matter how good a team it’s going to be hard to overcome. We just had way too many baseball things that just shouldn’t happen.”

Somonauk scored twice in the first off Earlville starter Easton Fruit. Carson Bahrey led off with a single, and Tristan Reed reached on an error, then both touched home plate on RBI groundouts by Noah Brandt and Silas Johnson.

“We have a mix of older, experienced guys and freshmen, so we knew there would more than likely be some bumps in the road,” Felton said. “Today was a good bounce back for us, and to be honest, something I expected to see. We learned from [Thursday] and came out here today and corrected almost every mistake we made. If you’re learning and moving forward things are going to be OK.”

Earlville got one back in its half as Hayden Spoonmore drew a walk from Bobcats’ starter Aldo Resendez, stole second and scored on a two-out, opposite field single by lefty Trey Gauer.

In the game-changing top of the second, the Bobcats sent 12 batters to the plate and scored nine times with RBIs from Reed (single), Luke Rader (sac fly), Landon Johnson (single) and Resendez. The visitors also took advantage of four walks and three Red Raiders errors.

“The biggest message after the game to the guys was errors are going to happen, but it’s how you react to them,” Reel said. “Today, we were still thinking about mistakes we made two or three batters or an inning prior. We have to learn how to let those things go quickly and move on.

“We also have to learn how to have damage control, meaning if a few things go wrong we have to really dig down and find a way to get and out to hopefully start things back in our favor. In the second inning, we had a number of chances to get outs at certain points to keep things close, but just weren’t able to either make a routine play or make a good decision on where to throw the ball.”

Somonauk added three runs in the third – the key hit a two-run single by Johnson – and one in the fourth on a Reed sac fly and one in fifth on a Rader double and error.

Earlville (1-3, 1-2) scored three in their fourth on singles by Trenton Fruit and Joe Clifford, and RBIs from Carlos Gonzalez and james Henne, as well as a balk.

“I think we all learned that you have to take one game at a time,” Bahrey said. “You can’t either overlook a team or look past a team because anyone can beat anyone on any given day. We didn’t play our best game [Thursday] and Earlville played well. We deserved to lose, but I feel like we didn’t show up ready and we saw what can happen when you do that. [Thursday’s] game was a wakeup call for us.

“We talked amongst ourselves, and coach did on the bus before we got here about being ready and learning from the past game. We still have a ways to go collectively as a team, but I think the feeling the other day is something we don’t want to have happen again. I know I don’t.”

Somonauk is back in action Saturday with a game at Seneca, while Earlville is off until a game Monday at Serena.

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