The Rhinelander Green Senior Babe Ruth team would defeat Eagle River 11-6 on Wednesday night in the Senior League tournament championship at Stafford Field. It marked the fourth time this season the Hodags won over the Eagles.
Rhinelander, despite being on their home field was the visiting team due to the coin toss but quickly jumped out to a 2-0 advantage. Jesse Mahner drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly that score Ian Miller. And then Devyn Orth plated an RBI single to bring in Quinn Lamers.
But Eagle River would rally back and took a short lead in the second inning. Teagan Guckenberg started on the mound for Rhinelander but allowed the first four batters to reach. Lamers would come in for relief before Isaac Vedder drove in a run on a fielder's choice. Aiden Lifschutz of the Eagles was than hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Eagle River a 3-2 lead.
In the third it wouldn't take Rhinelander long to respond right back and would add another three runs to regain the lead. Mahner had an RBI single. Lamers scored on an error. Guckenberg would connected on a triple and would score on a double steal attempt. But again, the Eagles clawed their way back and used back-to-back singles in the fourth to tie the game up 5-5.
Rhinelander took advantage of some walks in the sixth off pitcher Logan Hissom. Guckenberg led off with a single, before Hissom walked Orth, Jordan Kuczmarski, and Ben Sinclair to force in a run.
Sam Johnson of the Eagles came in for relief and walked Jason Huseby for another run. Two batters later, Rhinelander scored again when Miller was walked. Lamers drove in Sinclair on a fielder's choice. Miller would then score on a throwing error to attempt to pick off Lamers, which would give the Hodags a five-run advantage.
Lamers earned the win on the mound for Rhinelander, pitching 5 2/3 inning. He allowed three runs on five hits before he reached the 95-pitch limit in the seventh. Lamers recorded five strikeouts and walked three. Mahner closed the game and had the final strike out to end the game.
Eagle River finished with eight hits on the night, while Rhinelander recorded seven but took advantage of several walks down the stretch to push ahead. Guckenberg and Mahner both finished with two hits each to lead the Hodags at the plate. Huseby, Miller, and Orth would record the other hits on the night.
Rhinelander Green would close their season with an impressive 15-1 record and winning the Senior League Babe Ruth title. While Eagle finished 12-4 on the year, with all their losses coming from the Hodags.
The Rhinelander Laser Pro International team came up short with a trip to the Senior League championship on the line. The Hodags would fall 12-8 on Tuesday night to Eagle River at Stafford Field.
It was a rough start to the night as Laser Pros committed nine errors on the night and would give up a 5-0 lead which only included one earned run. But Rhinelander battled back but didn't have enough to hold the Eagles off down the stretch.
Laser Pros first battled back starting in the fourth frame when they found themselves down 6-1. Payton Johnson sparked the first rally back after driving in Joe Schneider on a double. Alex Kubeny continued with an RBI single to bring home Sam Schneider, and Johnson also scored when the ball went passed the right fielder. Rhinelander would pull within two runs after scoring three.
But then Eagle River would answer right back in the fifth and sixth frame and would extend their lead to 10-4. The Eagles would score a pair of runs in both frames, but Rhinelander would take advantage of the Eagles pitching in the sixth for another comeback.
Jacksen Smith, Cole Lehman, David Schramke, and Tim Fox all would draw walks with the bases loaded to once again pull Laser Pros within two-runs. But a pop out to the catcher would end the threat.
Eagle River would add two insurance runs in the seventh frame. The Eagles defense was able to prevent another comeback after ending the game with a double play on a ground ball to second.
Johnson led Laser Pros at the plate on the night and would go 3-for-4 on the night which proved to be half of the teams' hits on the night. Kubeny went 2-for-2 as well and Joe Schneider added a hit.
Rhinelander would use three pitchers on the night. Smith started on the mound and finished with three walks and one hit batter. Fox pitched 2 2/3 inning in relief and gave up three runs on four hits. And Bixby closed the game and allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He recorded five strikeouts in the loss.
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