Rhinelander starting pitcher Jacob Demeyer stymied a potent Antigo offensive attack for 4 innings Monday afternoon but a 7 run outburst in the 5th and 6th innings was enough as the Robins downed the Hodags 7-4 and earned the Great Northern Conference title outright.
Rhinelander jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Demeyer scored on a Brad Quade double. Antigo though was able to capitalize on 3 base hits, 2 Hodag errors and a couple of past balls to plate 4 runs in the top of the 5th. Collin Meinert leadoff the inning with a double, Matt Arndt followed with an infield single putting runners on 1st and 2nd, Matt Winter then hit a routine fly ball to left that was dropped loading the bases bringing up Brady Tatro who singled to drive in Meinert and Arndt scored on an errant throw from the shortstop to make it 2-1 Robins. Antigo would score twice more in the inning as Winter and Tatro would both score on past balls making the score 4-1. The Robins tacked on 3 more runs in the top of the 6th as Wade Farmer, Meinert and Winter all scored in the inning making it 7-1 Robins. Rhinelander plated two runs in the bottom of the 6th off of Antigo starter AJ Kirsch making it 7-3 Robins. Antigo went down in order in the top of the 7th and Rhinelander scored once and had the winning run in Brad Comer at the plate with bases loaded against Robins closer Hunter Kirsch in the bottom of the 7th but Comer hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Meinert lead Antigo at the plate going 2-2 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored, Brady Tatro was 2-4 with a run scored, and Matt Arndt, Matt Winter and Wade Farmer also had hits for Antigo. AJ Kirsch earned the win going 6 innings, giving up 3 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits, he stuck out 6 and issued just walk, Hunter Kirsch picked up the save.
With the win Antigo improved to 20-2 overall, 11-0 in the GNC and has now won 19 straight games. The Robins are ranked 7th in the latest WBCA poll. The Robins wrap up the regular season tonight at Mosinee and will open tournament play next Tuesday at Kretz Brothers Park against the winner of Thursday’s Tomahawk – Medford contest.