Rhinelander at Antigo

ANTIGO, Wisc. (WJFW)- One of the biggest rivalries in the Northwoods: Antigo vs. Rhinelander. In football, they play for a bell. In basketball, the atmosphere is always electric. On Thursday, in baseball, the two teams squared off with the season on the line for both teams. Elimination games have high stakes and rivalry games have high intensity, so this one was bound to have some fireworks in it.

Antigo had a solid regular season. The Red Robins finished in third place in the Great Northern Conference standings, with the two teams ahead of them, Mosinee and Medford, both finishing the season ranked in the top-10 in the state for Division 2. Antigo finished their conference play with a 7-5 record, and went 9-10 overall this season. However, the Red Robins had cooled off to finish the season out, losing six out of their last seven games. But, the majority of those losses came against ranked teams, so the plan was to use those losses to gain high-level experience for the playoffs.

Their arch enemy, Rhinelander, finished in fifth place in the Great Northern Conference standings this season. In conference play, the Hodags held a 4-8 record, and finished the season with an 8-13 overall record. The Hodags finished their season off in a streaky way, sweeping Tomahawk before dropping their next two games to Lakeland Union and Wausau East. However, the Hodags were able to bounce back and gain some momentum before the playoffs started, taking down Wausau East in their season finale.

In this rivalry game, there was a little bit of everything. Errors, wild pitches, doubles, home runs, double plays, diving catches, you name it, as is the case with most Rhinelander-Antigo matchups in any sport. The Hodags took and early lead, but Antigo started to mount a slow comeback. However, a clutch two-run home run from Owen Kurtz in the fifth inning proved to be the difference maker, as Rhinelander went on to win it 5-3, taking down their rival in their house.

With the win, Rhinelander improves to 9-13 on the season, and advance to the WIAA Regional Final. On top of that, the Hodags were able to take down their rival on the road, and end their season in the process. Antigo falls to 9-11 on the season with the loss, and that will be their final record as this loss ends the Red Robins' season.

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Sports Anchor/Reporter

Sol Mayer joined the Newswatch 12 team in June 2022 as a Sports Anchor/reporter. Born and raised in San Angelo, Texas, he couldn’t be more excited to take his career to the next level in the Northwoods.

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