The Rhinelander Post 7 American Legion baseball team gave Antigo a run for their money on Saturday night in the AA regional tournament at Stafford Field. The Rebels found themselves down 13-4 after five innings, but had a late rally to make their way back. Unfortunately, they couldn't hold Antigo off the board.
Garrett Held of Antigo had a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Antigo a 14-13 victory, and a trip to the American Legion state tournament held in Merrill. Rhinelander plated six runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to tie the game, but was not enough.
The Typhoon's didn't waste any time and would plate five runs in the opening inning off starting pitcher Brandon Hess. With two outs Hunter Kirsch started the rally with a single to center. Garrett Held singled to left, and a walk would quickly load the bases. Hess hit a batter to put Antigo on the board and the Typhoon's would score three runs on an error. Wade Farmer tacked on an RBI single to right to put Antigo ahead 5-0.
Rhinelander's Josh Randolph singled to center to start but was picked off before Cole Spaulding drew a walk. Tait Spencer singled to right but the Rebels left two base runners stranded.
The Typhoon's would add one more run in the second after Brian Cuevas connected on a RBI single to the right center gap. But Kirsh was thrown out at home plate to prevent any further damage as Antigo took a 6-0 lead.
The Rebels finally broke their scoreless game in the third frame. Jacob DeMeyer reached on error and was able to get into scoring position on the play. Brad Comer would get Rhinelander on board with a single to left that scored DeMeyer. And Kurt Zuiker would follow suit with a RBI single to left to pull the Rebels within four runs; 2-6. Antigo would add one more run in the third.
In the fourth, the Typhoons would put up three more runs on five hits. Three straight singles would load the bases. Jesse Jankowski would drive in the first run of the fourth on a single to left. Hess would pitch into the fourth before being relieved by Josh Randolph. A wild pitch would score another run. And Collin Meinert would hit a RBI single to right to give Antigo a 9-2 lead.
Rhinelander would chip away at the lead in the top of the fifth inning and would take advantage of a pair of Antigo errors. Zuiker drill a double deep to center field and would advance to third after a passed ball. Blomdahl would reach on error which would allow Zuiker to score. Spaulding walked and Senoraske would also reach on error to pull Rhinelander within six runs.
But that wouldn't slow down Antigo's offense, as they plated three more runs in the bottom of the fifth, to take their largest lead of the night; 13-4. The Typhoon's hit back-to-back singles and Kirsch walked to load the bases with no outs. A passed ball scored the first run before an RBI single to center and Jankowski had a sacrifice fly to right center to give Antigo a nine-run lead.
The Rebels used four hits to score six runs in the sixth to put Antigo on edge. Josh Randolph started the scoring with an RBI single and Zuiker would score on a wild pitch. Spencer singled on two outs before Senoraske drove in two more runs on a double deep to left center. Senoraske would eventually score on a wild pitch to pull Rhinelander within three runs; 10-13.
Rhinelander's defense and Randolph kept Antigo in check in the bottom of the sixth, not allowing the Typhoon's a run, their only inning in the game without scoring.
In the top of the seventh, with momentum in the Rebels’ favor they responded and would tie the game up 13-13 after scoring three more runs. Quade singled to right field, Zuiker laid down a bunt single, and Randolph hit a blooper single to load the bases.
Blomdahl followed with an RBI single, before Rhinelander had back-to-back strikeouts. Senoraske hit an infield single that Antigo tried to tag Blomdahl out but was not successful, which allowed Randolph to score the tying run. Rhinelander left three runners stranded, but was able to tie the game on three runs scored.
Kirsch would set the stage for Held on a single to center with one out. Kirsch would advance into scoring position after a wild pitch. And Held would chart the walk-off RBI single to center to give Antigo the win. Held led the Typhoon's with five-hits on the night.
Hess gave up 10 runs on 12 hits which included three walks and a hit batter in 3 2/3 innings. While Randolph closed and gave up four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two. The Rebels also left 14 base runners stranded on the night.
Antigo would move on to compete in the AA State Tournament beginning Wednesday held at Athletic Park in Merrill. Rhinelander will conclude their season on Wednesday as they host Medford for a makeup Great Northern Legion Conference doubleheader. The Rebels are 8-2 in the GNLC standings and are tied with Mosinee. If Rhinelander wins, they would be able to earn the conference title outright. First-pitch is scheduled for 5:30PM at Stafford Field.