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.
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.
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