By Craig Marx, Editor
Closing out a conference season has its charms, but none more so than defeating a storied rival. After picking up the Great Northern Conference title on Tuesday, the Antigo Red Robins baseball club took down the Rhinelander Hodags 10-2 during Thursday’s road trip.
“Today was a great game for us. All aspects were once again working well,” Coach Scott Farmer said. “It was a big win. Rhinelander has been playing well is fighting for second place in the conference, so we knew they were going to come out and play us hard. Our guys responded well.”
Max Nowinsky continued to play well in his lead-off spot, reaching first on a base hit and then stealing second. Antigo got on the board with one run in the top of the first as Nick Greening hit an RBI double to bring in Nowinsky.
Greening had a great day at the plate and on the mound, where he secured the win for the Robins. Pitching four innings, the senior starter allowed four hits and zero earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks. Brady Tatro and Hunter Kirsch kept the Hodags scoreless in their later relief and closing duties.
“Nick, Brady and Hunter all threw well and we got to try and see how they could handle situations they may be put into in the playoffs and each one responded well,” Farmer said.
Moving on to the top of the third, Greening picked up two more RBIs on another double, this time plating Tatro and Kirsch to give the Robins a brief 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Hodags scored a pair of run after a passed ball helped advance and eventually score Easton Senoraske and Jacob Demeyer.
Alex Nagel led off the top of the fourth, singling and stealing second. Nagel took advantage of a passed ball to reach third, where after taking a walk, Matt Winter and Nagel would score to give Antigo a 5-2 lead.
The Robins scored five runs in the fifth inning, including doubles for Kirsch, Jake Husnick, and Nowinsky. In all, Antigo had 15 hits, 11 coming against the Hodags’ starter Demeyer. Taking the loss in 4.2 innings pitched, Demeyer was responsible for eight of the ten runs scored by Antigo against him before being relieved by Brandon Hess.
Greening was 3-3 on the day with two doubles and three runs batted in. Nagel came in 3-4, scoring two runs and batting in another. Batting clean-up, Collin Meinert was 2-2 with a double.
“Our bats once again were working well and coming through when they were needed. Nick had a great day at the plate. Colin once again had multiple hits from the bottom of the order. Brian Cuevas-Ruiz came played in place of Arin VerHagen and had two big at bats early to knock in runs for us,” Coach Farmer added.
“To finish a conference season with only one loss is an outstanding feat in itself. We want to congratulate the guys for an outstanding conference season and title,” Farmer said in closing.
Antigo also added a non-conference game to its schedule, taking on Wausau East this coming Wednesday in an effort to stay sharp heading in the playoffs. The Robins first postseason match against Green Bay Southwest will take place on Tuesday, May 31st at Kretz Field. A preview of this matchup will be provided next week by the Antigo Times.