By Craig Marx, Editor
After a week off between the regular season and the second round of the WIAA Baseball Regionals on Tuesday, No. 1-seeded Antigo baseball did not lose any steam as it downed No. 4 Medford 8-1 at Kretz Park.
With a bye in the first round as a top seed, Antigo played the Raiders after Medford was able to beat pull out a tight 2-1 win last Thursday over No. 5 Tomahawk.
Batting at the top of the order, Matt Arndt got the run production started early by leading off with a triple. Arndt gave the Robins a 1-0 lead after the first inning after scoring on a Matt Winter RBI sacrifice fly.
Winter would go on to score himself in the second inning, brought in after Hunter Kirsch was hit by pitch following some erratic play by the Raiders.
The fourth inning is when the Robins cut loose. Jesse Jankowski led off the bottom of the inning with a home run, batting in the seventh spot. Collin Meinert reached base on a one-out single and later Winter on a fielder’s choice, setting up Brady Tatro for a three-run homer to give Antigo a 6-0 lead.
“Arndt, Winter and Meinert had nice days at the plate today. Jesse and Brady had huge at bats in the fourth inning to open the game up. [The] guys put some nice swings on the ball [and were] just hitting them right at people. If we continue to do that today we should be just fine,” head coach Scott Farmer noted.
The Robins collected two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to runs scored from the top of the order once again in Arndt and Winter, both reaching on one-out singles and each scoring a run. The Raiders lone run came in the top of the seventh after Medford’s Taylor Shaw reached on lead-off walk and scored.
AJ Kirsch got the start for the Robins, pitching 6 1/3 innings. Kirsch ended his day, before being relieved by Nick Marshall, with four strikeouts and four walks while allowing just two hits and zero Raider runs.
“AJ was typical AJ today,” Coach Farmer also said. “The way AJ has been throwing, the other teams are having a hard time squaring him up well. He is just not giving up many hits. When he gets in front of hitters like that he is tough to hit. His outing allowed us to not have to go into the bullpen too deep.”
John McMurray took the loss on the mound for Medford.
Antigo continues its playoff run this evening, hosting No. 2 Mosinee in a postseason Great Northern Conference rematch at Kretz Field beginning at 4:30 PM.
“Now we need to focus on Mosinee. They are going to come in here with a chip on their shoulder to knock us off. They are a good team and we will need to be focused and have to capitalize on their mistakes if they make any and limit ours to a minimum,” Farmer added.