Photo By Bob Mainhardt File photo by Bob Mainhardt
The Rhinelander Green Babe Ruth Senior would earn the top seed after defeating Merrill Gray 9-5 Monday night at Athletic Park and will advance to the title game. Eagle River will also advance to face Rhinelander Green after beating Laser Pro International in the semifinals game on Tuesday.
The Hodags would take a 5-2 lead after several Merrill errors after three innings despite not having a single hit. Rhinelander was able to hold off Merrill in a late rally to earn the four-run win.
In the second frame Walker Hartman, Teagan Guckenberg, Jordan Kuczmarski, and Ben Sinclair all walked and eventually scored with the aid of wild pitches and passed balls form Merrill’s pitching. Rhinelander would add another run from Quinn Lamers after he drew a walk and scored on yet another Merrill passed ball.
Despite the early struggle at the plate, Rhinelander finally got swinging and added some insurance runs in the final few innings. Jesse Mahner connected on an RBI single in the fifth and Hartman had an RBI groundout.
In the sixth inning, Devyn Orth would lead off with a single. Sinclair drove in Orth with another single. And Riley Lepak scored Sinclair on an infield hit.
Merrill would stay within reach early and scored twice in the third inning and once in the fifth frame. In the seventh Merrill would add a pair of runs after a pair of errors, but Rhinelander prevented any further damage to hang on for the win.
The Hodags would finish the night scoring nine runs on six hits with Kuczmarski, Lamers, Lepak, Mahner, Orth, and Sinclair each finished with one hit in the win.
Hartman started on the mound for Rhinelander and gave up two unearned runs on a hit in three innings of work and finished with six strikeouts. Mahner came in for relief and earned the win, giving up three runs all which were earned and charted six strikeouts in the final four innings.
The Hodags will face Eagle River for the fourth time this season for the Senior League championship on Wednesday night at Stafford Field. The game will begin after Rhinelander Prep’s game at 5:00PM.
The Rhinelander Prep Babe Ruth team would cruise to an 11-3 victory on Monday night at Northland Pines verses Eagle River Blue. The Hodags used strong innings early in the game to advance to the league championship game. Rhinelander would plate five runs in the second and added three more in the third to race out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back.
The Hodags got singles in the second from Sam Schneider, Cal Laggis, and Caleb Olcikas to get the ball rolling. From there they were able to capitalize on a few passed balls. In the third frame, Rhinelander added to their lead when Kaden Chillemi connected an RBI single with the bases loaded. Olcikas followed with an RBI double.
Eagle River would score one run in first, fourth, and seventh inning, but never were able to get within reach as Rhinelander's defense and pitching kept the Eagles in check.
Ryan Jamison walked and stole second and third before scoring on a single from Mason Davis in the fourth inning. The Hodags would add some extra cushion to their lead in the sixth when Schneider connected on a two-RBI single.
Rhinelander was solid at the plate in the victory and would collect 10 hits on the night. Schneider led the way and went 3-for-3 from the plate and Olcikas added two hits as well. Chillemi, Davis, Jamison, Laggis, and Logan Schmoeger also each earned a hit on the night.
Schneider worked the first three innings on the mound and would give up one run on three hits. Schmoeger earned the win in relief and only allowed one hit and struck out three.
Rhinelander will advance to the Prep League final on Wednesday and will face Eagle River Red at Stafford Field. First-pitch is set for 5:00PM.
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