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.