The Genesee Rebels brought their defensive skills to East Troy on Sunday where they handed the Express a 4-1 loss and moved into a tie for second place in the Southwest Division. Matt DeMarais took the mound for the rebels and worked quickly and efficiently through the East Troy lineup. His day got off to a rough start as he let up a first inning double that eventually scored to give the Express an early one run lead. DeMarais settled in after that, pumping the zone with strikes and relying on his defense to pitch 8 scoreless innings in a row to earn the complete game victory. On the day, the Express grounded out 21 times as DeMarais kept them off balance and was backed up by stellar defense. Through nine innings, he only threw 86 pitches.
The defense bailed him out more than once. At one point, Kyle Stasik, the Rebels third baseman, had three assists in a row. Aaron Dolan made a spectacular play deep in the hole, throwing from the outfield grass, to rob Jory Tess of a sure single. Tess was also robbed of a double when Chris Theissen fielded a laser off the left field wall and threw a laser of his own to second base to put out Tess. The Rebels also worked out of a jam in the fourth inning when the Express loaded the bases with only one out. Back-to-back groundouts and the inning was over.
After getting behind early, the Rebels tied the game in the third inning when Steve Engel laced a one-out double to the gap and later scored on a Matt Bauer single. They took the lead in the fourth when Keith McFarlane singled to start the inning. The Rebs then leaded the bases on singles by Chris Theisen and Aaron Dolan. Alex Lawrence drew a walk to push in a run before the inning was ended on a double play.
They scored again in the fifth when Kyle Stasik led off with a walk followed by a Matt Bauer single and a Jim Szanja sacrifice bunt. Stasik would score on a sac fly by Keith McFarlane, and Bauer crossed the plate on a Chris Elliott two-out single.
The game was one of the cleanest games the Rebels have played in recent memory with very few mistakes both offensively and defensively. The Rebels have some huge games coming up as they take on Rome at Genesee Town Park on Sunday, July 21st. They then have two big games coming up against Waterford, who is also in a tie for second place. With four games left, the Rebels have a chance to end the season in second place and earn a first round bye in the playoffs. They are also in danger of missing the playoffs if they lose out as the teams in second through sixth place in the division are separate by only a few games.
- Steve Engel caught the entire game, did a fantastic job not allowing a single wild pitch or passed ball, and did not pass out or die. He also did not get hit by a pitch.
- Matt DeMarais was called for a balk in the first inning that led to a run and drove his blood pressure through the roof. Apparently he pitches better when he is angry and so the Rebels are considering ways to make him angry before future starts.
- Matt Bauer led the Rebels with three hits on the day.
- Chris Theisen and Aaron Dolan had two hits on the day.
- The Rebels pounded out 12 hits off of East Troy pitcher Todd Nabor who usually has the Rebels number.
- Aaron Dolan threatened to pitch the next game if his arm continues to feel as good as it did on Sunday.
- Keith McFarlane unofficially changed Chris Theisen’s last name to Thompson.
- 8 or the 9 Rebels in the starting lineup got at least one hit and Jim Szanja had a great sac bunt.
- The Rebels hit into FOUR double-plays on the day.
- Brian Szanja was brutally attacked by two small children after the game and his return is questionable.