The Rhinelander High School baseball team rallied back in their first Great Northern Conference game at Medford Tuesday to win 7-4 at Raider Field. But in the second game of the doubleheader the Hodags battle from behind was cut short and came up shy and fell 7-6 in the final game of the doubleheader that was called after five innings because of darkness.
In the first game the Raiders jumped out to an early lead and went ahead 4-2 in the third before RHS rallied in the fourth and plated three runs to take the lead and they never looked back.
With two outs, senior Bryce Schickert started the come back with a double followed by an infield single by fellow senior Eric Grulke and advanced to second on a error, allowing Schickert to score. Danny Zuiker tied the game up at 4-4 with an RBI double to left field. Senior Martin Hoger put RHS ahead 5-4 after drawing a walk with bases loaded.
The Hodags added two insurance runs in the fifth and seventh and finished with three-run victory. In the fifth, Schickert drew a walk and would eventually score on an error to tack on another run. And Rhinelander added their final run of the night in seventh when Liam Stevens and Schickert had a double steal to home and second to put RHS up 7-4.
Schickert allowed four runs (1 earned) on five hits and had three walks and five strikeouts to earn the win in six innings of work. Josh Randolph pitched the final frame and to earn the save with one walk. Nick Retterath of the Raiders took the loss pitching four innings and giving up seven hits for five runs which included five earned runs.
Zuiker led the Hodags at the plate and charted four of the teams’ nine hits. Grulke finished with two hits in the win and Abe Laggis, Hoger, and Schickert each added one hit.
In the second game Medford got out to a hot start and plated four runs in the first frame and added a run in the second, third, and fourth frame to take a 7-0 lead. RHS rallied back and plated six runs in the fifth, but their run was cut short after the umpires declared it was too dark to continue.
Cade Alexander of the Raiders held the Hodags to only three hits in the first four innings and kept them off the board. But the tables turned when Medford brought in reliever Ethan Hahn who did not retire any of the six batters he faced and had three walks.
The Raiders' defense also didn't help as they had two out their four errors in the final frame which allowed three runs to score. Hoger drew a walk with bases loaded and Zuiker scored on a passed ball. And Schickert got the Hodags within one at 7-6 on a fielder's choice that allowed Randolph to score. Grulke singled which put the tying run in scoring position but Isaac Bixby grounded out to end the inning and also proved to be the final inning.
Alexander earned the win and finished with two strike outs. Hoger took the loss at the mound after four innings of work. Hoger gave up four earned runs, five walks, and three strike outs for seven runs. Liam Stevens pitched the final inning and recorded two strikeouts.
Rhinelander will be on the road again Thursday for another conference doubleheader at Lakeland. First-pitch is set for 4:00PM. RHS will then hit a tough portion of their schedule next week when they host Wausau East Monday and have doubleheaders against Mosinee and Antigo.