ANTIGO - "You really had a lot of shifting tides in this game. We'd have an inning, they'd have one right back."
Rhinelander Rebels coach Dan Huhnstock and his players couldn't sense any continuity in a wild 17-13 loss at Antigo Thursday night.
Each team had three separate innings scoring two or more runs, but the Typhoon sent the Rebels to their second loss in a row to start the American Legion baseball season.
Defensively, errors again hurt the Rebels. They committed seven in just six innings on the field.
"Making the routine plays. That's our focus, making the routine plays. We make the routine plays in this game, we win this game," Huhnstock said.
Rhinelander pitchers Kent Mathews and Lucas Michlig struggled through their stints with often shaky assistance from the defense behind them.
"It seemed like innings were self-destruction on the defensive part," Huhnstock said.
Through an inning and a half, the Rebels found themselves in a position rare enough during the Rhinelander High School spring season – holding a relatively comfortable lead.
Trevor Young drove home Michlig in the first inning to put Rhinelander up 1-0. Then, in the second, the Rebels used a two-run double by Brevin Persike and a Michlig RBI single to race out to a 6-0 advantage.
Mathews had worked around a Randy Krebs base hit for a scoreless first inning, but the levee broke for him in the second. Antigo sent 13 men to the plate and tallied nine runs. Mathews didn't even record an out until the seventh batter of the inning, Jake Maly, grounded into a force play.
But the damage wasn't complete after that. Mathews plunked three consecutive Antigo batters to re-load the bases, and then a two-run single by Erik Schielke totaled the nine runs for the Typhoon.
The seesaw continued in the fourth inning. The Rebels entered down by the same 9-6 score and got off to a slow start, with both Michlig and Luke Linsmeyer retired to begin the frame. But Rhinelander scored five runs, all with two outs.
Alec Baumgartner started with a single, which was followed by a Young walk. Alex Reas drove home Baumgartner with a single of his own, after which Antigo starting pitcher Corey Stensberg was pulled. But the Rebels continued to hit against reliever Blake Below. Derek Mathison walked, Lukas Kreger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and then Persike drove home another run with a single.
Rhinelander had retaken a 11-9 lead, but gave it right back in the bottom of the fourth. Errors in the field by Mathison at second base and Baumgartner behind the plate helped the Typhoon score three times.
After Antigo extended their advantage to 13-11 in the fifth, the Rebels brought things back to even. They strung together two-out base hits by Persike, Scott Sedlacek, and Michlig to tie the score at 13-13.
In all, eight of Rhinelander's 13 runs were scored with two outs.
Antigo and Rhinelander entered the bottom of the sixth back square again at 13, but Michlig couldn't hold back the Typhoon. After a Caleb Raddant strikeout, Below, Cassius Noskowiak, Rob Bastle, and Maly earned consecutive base hits off Michlig for four runs and the winning margin.
Schielke worked a perfect top of the seventh to close out the Antigo victory.
The Rebels drop to 0-2 on the Legion season despite a huge offensive night.
"Thirteen runs is wonderful. It would win most games. I was very pleased. We had production throughout the whole lineup. It wasn't just the top of the order doing it, we had it spread out throughout the whole lineup," Huhnstock said.
In fact, every batter in the order save for Sedlacek scored a run. The Rebels' 13 runs came on 11 hits, and they used three Antigo errors.
Persike shined with a three-hit day including a double. He drove home three and scored two runs.
"He's playing a lot like he did during the JV season, attacking the ball. Tonight, we found a lot of green out there for him," Huhnstock said.
Schielke inning and a third were good enough for the win, while the four seventh-inning runs allowed cost Michlig the loss.
Rhinelander next takes on Chequamegon tonight in Park Falls.
Rhinelander at Antigo
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Rhinelander 150 502 0 – 13 11 7
Antigo 090 314 x – 17 15 2
Rhinelander AB R H RBI
Michlig ss-p 4 2 2 2
Linsmeyer rf 4 2 0 0
Baumgartner c 5 1 2 0
Young 3b 4 1 1 1
Reas cf 5 2 2 1
Mathison 2b-ss 2 2 0 0
Kreger 1b 3 2 0 1
Persike lf 4 2 3 3
Sedlacek dh-2b 4 0 1 1
-Mathews p 0 0 0 0
IP H R ER SO BB
Mathews 4 11 12 8 1 2
Michlig, L 2 4 5 5 1 2
Antigo AB R H RBI
Bastle ss 5 2 2 2
Maly cf 4 0 1 3
Krebs c 4 1 1 0
Wegter 4 1 0 0
Chrudimsky 1b 1 3 1 0
Shielke rf-p 4 1 3 2
Stensberg p-3b 3 2 1 1
-Raddant rf 1 0 0 0
Will 3b 2 1 2 1
-Below p-3b 2 2 2 1
Noskowiak lf 4 2 2 1
IP H R ER SO BB
Stensberg 3 2/3 6 8 7 7 4
Below 2 4 4 2 3 1
Schielke, W 1 1/3 0 0 0 2 0