GOOSE LAKE — The Northeast baseball team has endured a tough week.

But things returned to a sense of normalcy Thursday, considering normalcy for the Rebels is winning games.

The Rebels rallied from an early 8-2 deficit to defeat Clinton by a 12-11 score in eight innings at Alliant Energy Field.

Northeast is now 15-3 on the season, while the River Kings dipped to 5-14.

Weighing heavily on the minds of the Rebels was the memory of Northeast student Kyle Howe, who died over the weekend.

“It’s been a week that none of us will ever forget,” said Northeast coach Jeff Howe, Kyle’s uncle. “We spent much of the week emotionally distraught. We got together for practice yesterday, leaned on each other and cried on the shoulders of one another. And somehow we managed to practice.

“Today we’ve all got our fallen relative and classmate on our hats,” added Howe, taking off his cap and showing a ‘KH’ written in Magic Marker. “And we came out and played a gutsy game.”

Gusty, indeed.

After falling behind early, the Rebels erupted for six runs in the fourth inning to tie things up at 8-all.

They went ahead 10-9 before Clinton forced extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh.

However, the Rebels scored twice in the top of the eighth and held Clinton to one run in the bottom of the frame to win.

“It didn’t surprise me that we kept hitting after falling behind,” said Howe. “I didn’t really know that we’d hold Clinton to 11 runs after giving up eight early — I figured that would be an issue.

“But these kids of ours, I haven’t seen anybody shut them down,” he added. “Sure, they’ll have an off night and hit balls at people. But they just don’t quit. They never cease to amaze me.”

The only disappointment for Howe were five errors committed by the Rebels.

“If we’d played a little cleaner the first four innings, we would have been much better off,” he said. “I’m not faulting our kids — I think it was just a matter of rust.”

“We had probably 25 chances to win this game, whether it be making one play defensively, laying down one bunt or hitting the ball hard with runners at second and third,” said Clinton coach Trent Snowden. “And we went 0-for-25 in those situations. We get just one of those things done and we win. Give Northeast credit — they made those types of plays and we didn’t.”

Clinton got a run in the bottom of the first when David Lakin dropped a single behind the shortstop, took second on Greg Espey’s single to left and scored when Ryan Clausen reached on an error.

The Rebels answered with two runs in the top of the second.

Nick Mohr’s double to right scored Derek Truninger, who had singled, and Mohr eventually scored on Derek Ketelsen’s sacrifice fly to left.

The River Kings answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, as Lance Dennis scored on a wild pitch and Dylan Schneeberger came home on Dustin Carpenter’s single to left.

Clinton extended its lead to 8-2 with five runs in the third.

Ken Garvey knocked in two runs with a single up the middle, while Dennis and Schneeberger walked with the bases loaded.

Lakin knocked in the other run on a groundout.

But the Rebels responded with a six-run fourth.

Shawn Johnston delivered two runs when he ripped a single to left, while Travis Mohr had an RBI single to right.

An error, groundout and bases-loaded walk led to the other RBIs in the frame.

“Looking back, from my perspective, the fourth inning was the key,” said Snowden. “We had one out with runners at first and third and had a ground ball. It was a tailor-made two-ball and we didn’t make the play, which was the start of a six-run inning. But we also had some other mistakes which hurt us. Those were big.”

Clinton scored once in the bottom of the fourth when Dennis bounced an RBI single past third base.

Northeast went ahead 10-9 in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs, but the River Kings forced extra innings in the bottom of the seventh with a run on a passed ball.

In the top of the eighth, Jacob Dever and Johnston led off with consecutive singles before a flyout.

Truninger was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Nick Mohr hit into a groundout to knock in a run.

Dustin Krogman followed by reaching on an error to score another run, putting the visitors ahead 12-10.

Clinton sent seven batters to the plate in the bottom of the eighth in its comeback attempt.

Dennis lined a single up the middle and Schneeberger walked before a short popout.

Tanner Skiff then delivered an RBI double into right-center field that made it 12-11.

David Lakin was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Espey followed with a flyout to short right.

“Our guy at third faked it (coming home) and we drew the throw, which was right on line,” said Snowden. “We also had the winning run at second — I didn’t want to lose the game by getting thrown out with our No. 3 hitter coming up. Plus, we got thrown out at the plate twice last night.”

Clausen followed with a flyout to left to end the contest.

Northeast entertains Maquoketa tonight, while Clinton travels to Davenport Assumption for a doubleheader Monday.

Score by Innings

Northeast 020 602 02 —12 10 5

Clinton 125 100 11 —11 12 3

Derek Truninger, Shawn Johnston (5), Travis Mohr (7), Jordan Howe (8) and Jacob Dever. Dustin Carpenter, Curtis Howard (4), Ryan Hovey (6) and Dylan Schneeberger.

Two or more hits—Northeast, Johnston, T. Mohr, Clinton, Lance Dennis 3. 2B—Northeast, Nick Mohr, Derek Ketelsen, Lucas Rorah; Clinton, Tanner Skiff. RBI—Northeast, Howe, Dever, Johnston 3, T. Mohr, N. Mohr 2, Ketelsen, Rorah; Clinton, David Lakin, Dennis 2, Schneeberger, Ken Garvey 2, Dustin Carpenter, Skiff.

Records—Northeast 15-3, Clinton 5-14. Next games—Maquoketa at Northeast (DH), Friday; Clinton at Davenport Assumption (DH), Monday.

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