Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Home Run Derby

The 5th annual Genesee Rebels Home Run Derby will take place on Thursday night, August 15th from 6-8pm at Genesee Town Park. The favorite coming in has to be Chris Elliott who is known for being a man during batting practice. Youngsters Alex Lawrence and Chris Theisen have been known to be batting practice superstars and may give the veteran a run for the crown. Always in the mix is the old man himself Mark Wershay who will either hit a bunch of homeruns or break his leg trying. The real battle will be for the coveted last place trophy as pitcher Matt DeMarais and utility player Nick Heckenkamp are sure to be in a battle until the final out.

In other news, the picture below recently surfaced and has brought to light some questions about Brian Szajna's man crush on star shortstop Aaron Dolan. Brian has closed his eyes to feel the immaculate presence of Dolan as he turns two by himself. One can only imagine what is going through Szajna's mind as he gets a first hand look (if he ever opens his eyes) at perfection.

Brian Szajna's thoughts: "I am not worthy to glance upon your eminence."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bummer....

The Rebels saw their season come to a halt on Saturday when they were handed a 3-0 loss by the Titans of Oconomowoc. You can't win if you don't score runs, and the Rebels were unable to get anything going on Saturday against Titan pitcher Nash Bell who kept the bats silent for most of the game.

Matt DeMarais took the mound for the Rebels and kept the Titans off the scoreboard for 4 innings. In the fifth, he allowed a lead off double, followed by a sac bunt and then another double to push the first run across. He got the next batter to ground out leaving a runner on 3rd with two outs. And then the wheels fell off. The next batter reached on an error which allowed the 2nd run to score, another error moved him up to second, a base hit pushed that run across.....when the dust finally settled, the Titans had scored three runs and knocked DeMarais out of the game.

Rebels rookie Derek Urban came on in relief and pitched three innings of scoreless baseball to hold the game within reach, but alas, it was not meant to be for the Rebels, as two runners were left stranded on base to end the game.

Overall, it was a pretty decent game, a pitcher's duel if you will, that finally ended the Rebels season.

The game may prove to be the last in the storied career of Rebels veteran Steve Engel who announced his retirement the week before. Engel has been a staple in the Rebels lineup for years, even decades, and will be missed as he now has more time to spend on yard work and improving his golf game. It may not be the last time Engel ever dons a Rebels uniform, however, as he has threatened to show up randomly to fill in or show the rookies a thing or two at batting practice. In all seriousness, Engel has been a great teammate, a solid baseball player, a mastermind at getting plunked by errant pitches, and a good person to know. His presence will be missed.

On the whole, it was a successful season for the Rebels and they have every reason to be optimistic for the future. The addition of three rookies, Derek Urban, Keith Koehn, and Mark Switalski, has added a great boost of energy and excitement. With everyone slated to return next year, minus Engel, 2014 could prove to be a banner year for Genesee.

A special thanks to our hard working concession stand workers who help keep us in business and the fans who show up despite our sometimes ridiculous antics.

Stay tuned for future updates as the Rebels plan to keep the site up and running throughout the off season with interesting and amusing tidbits every now and again.

If you're looking for more baseball, head to Burlington on Saturday to see if the Titans can pull the upset. My money is on Burlington, but the Titans have been known to surprise people every now and again.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Playoff Picture


Playoff Picture

Here’s how the playoffs look for this season:

#1 seed: Burlington Barons
The Barons ended the season with a stellar 16-2 record. In 18 games, they only allowed 41 runs. If pitching and defense win championships, then the Barons have to be the favorite heading into the playoffs. The Rebels lost twice to Burlington in relatively close games.

#2 seed: East Troy Express
The Express ended the season with 12 wins to 6 losses. Two of those losses came at the hands of the Rebels. Pitching and defense have been the key for the express this year as well as they only allowed 58 runs to opposing hitters. Offense was, at times, hard to come by, but they often scored when it mattered most.

#3 seed: Waterford Rivermen
Ending the season with a record of 11-7, the Rivermen scored a league high 117 runs. While the core of their team has been around for a while, they are still a dangerous draw. If their pitching can hold up, their bats will keep them in games. They stole two games and a home playoff game from the Rebels.

#4 seed: Oconomowoc Titans
The Titans won 10 games this year which is an ok year by their standards. With a lot of young talent, fresh legs, and live arms, they are a team to watch out for. If their young talent can play with veteran maturity, they will be tough. The Rebels are hoping the third time is the charm as they look to upset the Titans at Roosevelt.

#5 seed: Genesee Rebels
The Rebels won 10 games this year, but could and should have won more. At times, the Rebels played outstanding defense, had stellar pitching, and hit the snot out of the ball. At other times, they couldn’t make a play, get a batter out, or push any runs across the plate. When they put it all together, they can beat anyone. When they can’t, well, that’s where the 8 losses came from.

#6 seed: North Prairie Dawgs (I believe)
The Dawgs finished in a tie for the 6th and final playoff spot with the Wales Royals, but took the tie breaker to edge themselves into the playoffs. North Prairie is a better team than their record shows as they have some of the best pitching in the league. If they can push some runs across and their pitchers throw strikes, they could be the sneaky pick to upset anyone and everyone.



Regular Season Finale


The Genesee Rebels headed into the final two weeks of the season with their destiny in their hands. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out the way the Rebels would have liked. The good news; they made the playoffs. The bad news; they narrowly missed out on a home playoff game.

Backtrack to the 28th when the Rebels headed to Waterford to meet the Rivermen. The Rebels got off to a great start, scoring in both the first and second innings to hold an early lead. Matt DeMarais was on the mound for the Rebels and kept the Rivermen off balance and scoreless for 5 innings. Although he struggled with his command at times, he did not allow a base runner to reach third base until the 6th inning when Waterford was able to push two runs across to tie the game at two.

The Rebels made a pitching change in the 7th, and that was all the Rivermen needed as they strung together a few hits to finally break the game open, scoring six runs in the frame.

Although the Rebels tried to mount a comeback by scoring two in the top of the eighth inning, they were only able to add one more run in the ninth for a final score of 8-5 in favor of Waterford. It was a tough loss to swallow for the Rebels who won seven of the nine innings and saw another game escape from their clutches late.

Six days later, Genesee and Waterford faced each other again, this time in Genesee. With a victory, the Rebels would clinch a home field playoff game. Unfortunately, it would be nearly the same story as before. The Rebels jumped out to an early lead, DeMarais kept the Rivermen off balance for eight innings this time, before surrendering a one-run-lead in the top of the ninth. Rookie Derek Urban came on in relief in the ninth and held the game within reach as the Rebels, after leading the entire game, found themselves down one run heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Another rookie sensation, Keith Koehn beat out an infield single to start the inning, was moved to second on a sac bunt from Aaron Dolan, and then scored on a Jim Szajna pinch-hit-rbi-game-tying-single. Momentum seemed to be back in the Rebels favor, although they could not capitalize and the game headed to extras.

Urban pitched a scoreless 10th, but the Rebels were unable to in the bottom of the inning.

The 11th inning saw Adam Brechtl of Waterford come up with a huge two-out-two-rbi double that would prove to be the difference maker as the Rebels, once again, lost a game they should have won.

With two straight losses to Waterford, the Rebels penciled their name into the 5-seed in the playoffs regardless of how they would do against Dousman in their regular season finale.

The Rebels did not disappoint as they jumped out to an early lead and held onto it this time, beating the Frogs 8-3. Keith Koehn put in a stellar 8-inning performance on the mound, earning his first Land O’ Lakes victory. Aaron Dolan added three hits offensively for the Rebels and Matt Bauer turned in two hits of his own.

The victory put an end to an up-and-down regular season for the Rebels who saw themselves playing at both ends of the spectrum. They finished with 10 wins and 8 losses. While making the playoffs is always a sign of a good year, it’s hard to not take the five seed with a grain of salt as Genesee had the two seed within reach.

The Rebels travel to Oconomowoc on Saturday, August 10th to face the Coonies at 1:30. Oconomowoc handed Genesee two losses already this year, so the Rebels have them right where they want them.


Game Highlights and Lowlights:
-       - Brian Szajna made his regular season, Land O’ Lakes pitching debut against the Frogs and threw four strikes without wearing socks.
-      -  Andy Sturtevant did not sit down for the entire game against Dousman claiming, “If I sat down, I wasn’t getting back up.”
-      -  Chris Theisen and Aaron Dolan flashed the leather coming up with a few diving plays each during the last three games of the season. Theisen credits the “talking glove” while Dolan simply defies the rules of gravity.
-       - Alex Lawrence turned 21 on Sunday and the Rebels have yet to see or hear from him since.
-      -  Kyle Stasik continued his stellar season at the plate drawing three walks against the Frogs.
-      -  Matt DeMarais kept the crowd in it with an emphatic “Oh Yeah” after smashing the ball a solid 59 feet in the air earning a well deserved fine.
-      -  It has been determined that “the black does not count” and that most of the Rebels simply love disagreeing with umpires.
                                                                                                  

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