Monday, August 11, 2014

The end of an era...

The Rebels saw their 2014 season come to an end on Sunday when they lost to the Burlington Barons 11-4. Genesee reverted to their former selves, making mistakes early which put them behind the eight ball from the start. The Baron's manufactured runs up in the first few innings behind some sloppy defense, walks, and productive outs. The Rebels made some noise in the middle innings, finally plating a few big runs to close to the score to 7-4, but Burlington added four insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th to put the game away. The Rebels were without their starting catcher (Andy Sturtevant) and middle infielder (Aaron Dolan), but should have been able to play better ball than they showed.

At times this season, the Rebels looked like a top team in the league. When they were able to field a whole squad, their hitting, fielding, and pitching came together beautifully. But, as Cubs fans know, it's easy to look back at the season and think "What if?" Just like Cubs fans though, next year is looking good!

The Rebels will return nearly their full squad from this year for the 2015 campaign. With some young talent, strong arms, and veteran leadership, 2015 could be a year to remember.
Genesee will however be without a few key pieces from the last few years, or decades.

Keith McFarlane will no longer be a "regular" for the Rebels. He will still make his presence felt for some of the games throughout the season, but his days of playing 18 regular season games are over. McFarlane helped anchor the Rebels infield, playing all four positions throughout his stint and bringing some much needed power to the lineup. When he doesn't have a bachelor party the night before a game, he is a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully the Rebels see him more often than not next year, but they'll take whatever they can get.

Jimmy Szajna will also be "retiring" as they say. Szajna has been a regular sight in the Rebels outfield and on the mound. Never fleet of foot, Szajna always found a way to get the job done. A crafty veteran on the mound, Jim kept batters off balance with his change of speeds and location. Other than Wershay, Szajna was the longest tenured Rebel and will be missed.

The Rebels also say goodbye to longtime veteran Mark Wershay. Wershay just finished his 25th season in the league, and decided that a quarter of a century is enough. Wersh played 22 seasons for the Rebels, the last 9 of them spent as a player / manager / coach. Mark has been the face of the franchise for the last decade and has brought much to the SouthWest division. A former LOL player may have summed up Wershay's retirement with the perfect sentiment. "Wersh, you were the epitome of what the league stands for. It was a pleasure playing with you. Good luck with your future plans and all of your new summer free-time." Another former player remarked, "Every year when I heard u were still part of the game, u made me smile with pure enjoyment!" 

It will definitely take some getting used to, but the Rebels appear to be in good hands as Matt DeMarais will be taking over as manager. DeMarais has seven years of LOL baseball under his belt, 6 of them with the Rebels, and has coached at Waukesha West High School and Carroll College in the past. It will be a tough act to follow, but Aaron Rodgers has done ok for himself after Favre left, so, it just might turn out ok!

The Rebels will hold their annual Home Run Derby on Thursday night at Genesee Town Park. The early favorite would have to be Chris Elliott, however, Keith Koehn looks poised to dethrone the reigning champ. Who knows, we might even see a fist pump or two from Heckenkamp. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rebels trounce Dawgs

The Rebels took revenge for two losses earlier in the year by trouncing the North Prairie Dawgs 12-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Genesee scored early and often and got a solid pitching performance from Matt DeMarais as well as solid defense on their way to a convincing victory. The Rebels pounded out 16 hits and were led by Keith Koehn who knocked out four hits and added two RBIs. Chris Elliott had a monster day at the plate going 3 for 5 with a single, double, home run, and six RBIs. Andy Sturtevant, Mark Switalski, and Aaron Dolan each added two hits as nearly every Genesee batter had their way at the plate.

The offensive onslaught seemed to catch North Prairie by surprise. The Dawgs had defeated the Rebels 4-3 and 7-3 earlier in the season and were not ready for the fireworks. It helped that Genesee's defense kept the North Prairie hitters off balance the entire game. Matt DeMarais pitched the entire game for the Rebels allowing only five batters to reach base and promptly picking off one of them. Kyle Stasik turned in another defensive gem at third base while the middle infield remained as solid as ever and Matt Bauer helped with a sliding web gem in center.

One Rebel nearly saw his career end due to a brutal injury. While waving Matt Bauer around third, Genesee coach Mark Wershay got a little too excited and went down hard. Bauer somehow maintained his wits and scored as Wershay remained in "turtle" position on the ground. When the North Prairie center fielder argued that Wersh interfered with the runner, Mark cleared it up by stating, "Nope. I just fell." The Rebels dodged a bullet there.

The win sends the Rebels to Burlington on Sunday to take on the top seeded Baron's who defeated Rome last weekend. The teams split a series in the regular season.

The other matchup of the weekend puts the #2 seeded Waterford Rivermen, who barely escaped a 16 inning marathon against Dousman, up against the #4 seeded East Troy Express who defeated the Titans 16-13.

This weekends winners advance to a best out of three series the following weekend to determine the Southwest champion.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Playoff Picture....Part 2

Ok, so everything should be set.....for now.....maybe.

Here's what's in store for the SouthWest division this weekend.

Saturday, August 2nd: Round 1

Game 1:
# 7 Waukesha Royals @ # 10 Rome Raiders
I'm guessing the Royals couldn't get Frame Park for this one which is why it is being hosted by the Raiders. Hopefully the Royals still get to be the home team, but Rome gets all the $ from the concessions and the raucous support of the Raider faithful, including the sound machine guy in the booth.

Game 2:
# 8 Dousman Frogs vs. # 9 Ixonia Snappers
After initially bowing out of the playoffs,  the Snappers have decided that they want to give it a go. They will be heading to Dousman where anything is possible with the short porch in left.

Sunday, August 3rd: Round 2

Game 3:
# 1 Burlington Barons vs. Highest Seed Remaining (probably # 8 Dousman Frogs)
The Barons are the clear favorite to advance to the next round in the playoffs, but again, anything can happen in the SouthWest.

Game 4:
# 2 Waterford Rivermen vs. 2nd Highest Seed Remaining (probably # 7 Waukesha Royals)
This game could get interesting. The Royals are a dangerous # 7 seed and if their young pitching can keep the game close, it could get very, very interesting.

Game 5:
# 3 North Prairie Dawgs vs. # 6 Genesee Rebels
The Dawgs won both games against the Rebels this year, but they were each close. Other than the #4 vs #5, this might be the closest game of the playoffs.

Game 6:
#4 East Troy Express vs. #5 Oconomowoc Titans
The Express defeated Burlington on Wednesday night to lock up a home game against the Titans. This promises to be a good game as both teams have the pitching and defense to make it a low-scoring, high intensity affair.

That's all we know as of right now. It seems like the best out of 3 series for the division championship might be off the table, as next weekend may simply have the semifinals on Saturday and the Championship on Sunday.

One thing is for sure: everybody plays this weekend, so it will be a great weekend for baseball in the SouthWest.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Playoff Picture

The playoff picture is finally set. Well, sort of. East Troy still plays Burlington on Wednesday night and the outcome of that game will determine the #4 seed. If East Troy wins, they get the #4 seed. If they lose, they get the #5 seed. All that basically determines is who gets the home game between East Troy and Oconomowoc.

So, here's how the seeds ended up:

#1 Seed : Burlington. With only two losses on the year, one coming from Genesee, they locked in the number one.
#2 Seed: Waterford. They eeked out the #2 seed with a tie breaker win over North Prairie.
#3 Seed: North Prairie. The new look dogs ran their way into a top 3 finish.
#4 & 5 Seeds: East Troy & Oconomowoc. They will play each other, so other than home field advantage, it doesn't really matter.
#6 Seed: Genesee. Playing their best baseball as of late. Look out!
#7 Seed: Waukesha Royals. I think the consensus is that these guys are a sneaky #7.
#8 Seed: Dousman. They can hit, but can they pitch?
#9 Seed: Rome. Young guys = sometimes frustrating baseball.
#10 Seed: Ixonia. And they don't even want to play in the playoffs.

Here are the matchups:

Dousman vs. Rome - Winner plays at Burlington on Sunday
Waukesha vs. Ixonia - Ixonia doesn't want to play even though they voted for everyone making the playoffs. Shady. Waukesha moves on via the BYE to play Waterford

#1 Burlington vs. Winner of #8 Dousman and #9 Rome
#2 Waterford vs. #7 Waukesha
#3 North Prairie vs. #6 Genesee
#4 Oconomowoc vs. #5 East Troy (or vice versa)

Sunday's winners move on to the following weekend which will probably revert to the old format of one game saturday and championship Sunday, however, the situation may still change. Maybe best out of 3 is still on the table. Who knows. Let's play some ball!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The 2014 regular season has come to an end for the Rebels. The Rebs finished with an overall record of 9-9 and are playing the best baseball of the year right now. The season finished up with a hard fought 5-8 loss at Waterford and a 16-10 victory over Dousman. The bats came to life at the end of the season as the Rebels launched six round trippers in the final two games.

The good news is that the Rebels have made the playoffs by clinching the 6-seed in the SouthWest. The bad news is they still don't know when they will be playing. With the playoff schedule changing more often than Brian Szajna changes his shoes, the Rebels could play Saturday, or it could be Sunday. The one thing that seems to be certain is that they will play at Waterford.

After some early season struggles, the Rebels have proven that they can play with anyone. As long as you have an out, you've got a chance. And the Rebels have at least 27 outs left in them this year.

Stay tuned for playoff schedule.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Final Stretch...

The 2014 season is nearing its finale. The season has proven to be an interesting one for the Rebels, and the story may just be getting started.

As it currently sits, the Rebels are firmly in 6th place after battling back to .500 three wins in a row. At 8-8, the Rebels would just barely escape the Wednesday night scenario that is debuting with this years playoff. Who voted yes on that one? Nobody knows. A Wednesday evening bye is not guaranteed, however, as the Rebels still face off with Waterford (3rd place) and Dousman (7th place). Hypothetically, the Rebels could limp into Saturday with two losses if Dousman loses out as well, but it would be nice to win one or both of the games to potentially steal the 5 seed from the Express if they lose on the final weekend. Either way, the Rebels have made the playoffs. Just how far they go, is yet to be determined. 

The Rebels' first half of the season was a little up and down, with more downs than ups. Flashes of brilliance were just that, flashes, as the Rebels lost a few close games, and a few that weren't so close. After the all-star break, the Rebels seem to have found their stride. Winning four of their last six games, including a victory and an extra inning loss to the top seeded Burlington Barons, have the Rebels playing their best baseball of the season. If everyone shows up, the Rebels can give anyone in the league a run for their money. 

If the season ended today, the Rebels would play at Waterford on Saturday, August 2nd. A win there and again on Sunday would put them into the best of 3 championship round the following weekend. If the Rebels lose out and drop to the 7 seed, they would have to win a Wednesday night game just to make it to the first weekend of the playoffs. While it may be exciting to win three games in five days, I think they'd all prefer to wait until Saturday to start the playoffs. 

Here's a quick run-down of the Rebels players thus far:

- Chris Theisen played in one game, gathered 3 hits, and then took his flowing locks to California to chase the dream of playing professional ball and running a successful YouTube channel. 
- Kyle Stasik is playing a monster 3rd base and hitting above .400 on the year. The self-proclaimed rally killer is quietly having an enormous season for the Rebels. 
- Keith Koehn, all-star phenom, with Aaron Dolanesque communication skills, has been the Rebels workhorse on the mound and in the field. 
- Andy Sturtevant, when not gallavanting around Europe with his wife, shows up occasionally and does not disappoint behind and dish and at the plate. He refuses to listen to pitchers, especially if they are from Burlington and want him to "GET BACK IN THE BOX!"
- Keith McFarlane may be playing in his final season for the Rebels and has come to two, poignant realizations: 1. He can still play baseball. 2. He needs to stop drinking. Here's hoping his convinces his wife to let him come back next year. 
- Nick Heckenkamp has perfected the HR fist pump on his first try. When not dropping bombs on Dousman he has been filling the void where needed. An expert at ducking under strikes, Nick has been doing it all. 
- Matt Bauer has been pissing people off from center, short, and even behind the dish this year. His work with the trainer bat has really paid off as he no longer hits the ball right to the defensive player. 
- Mark Switalski, when not running into base runners while umping park and rec, loves to play mind games with opposing 3rd basemen by showing bunt on every single pitch. Proven to be an excellent relief pitcher and solid outfielder for the Rebels. 
- Aaron Dolan is still showing up for the Rebels and they are glad to have him. He might quietly (i mean silently) be one of the best SS in the division. Keep coming back rev. We need ya!
- Chris Elliott is simply a man. 
- Derek Urban, when not umping, camping, sleeping, eating, playing video games, or just hanging out, shows up occasionally for the Rebels. And when he does, he makes his presence felt. A solid young pitcher who needs to stop scheduling umpire jobs on the weekend, Urban has a solid future for the Rebels. 
- Dave Hellman needs to stop playing softball and punching things. On the PUP list again thanks to a nasty sinking liner in beer league softball. The kids got skills. 
- Mike Hodel swings hard in case he hits it. When he does, it goes far. When he doesn't, well, he doesn't. Hopefully he doesn't get abducted by pirates on his honeymoon. 
- Dominic Nabak is a gazelle in the outfield. If it's in the air, he's going to catch it. The kid doesn't get cheated at the plate either. Little known fact that he is also a master of awkward / sarcastic cheers directed at his fellow teammates. Fits right in!
- Jim Szajna may be in his final season with the Rebels, but his image will live on forever etched on his brothers calf and in the hearts of the Rebs. Still swinging a big stick, Jim's OF presence and innings on the mound will be missed.
- Brian Szajna has found a way to play good defense and calm his nerves when in the field. Having his best defensive season ever for the Rebs.
- Jason Baron has broken into the ranks this year with some solid performances and looks to be a Rebel for years to come.
- Matt DeMarais hasn't had his usual innings on the mound this year, stepping behind the dish for a few games to work with the young arms the Rebels will rely on in the future.
- Joel Meier.......
- Mark Wershay can swing without any pain in his arm. Looking to go out with a bang, Wershay may have a few pinch hit bombs left in him.

Come on out to Genesee on Sunday for the Rebels final home game of the season. 1:30pm first pitch.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Countdown Clocks

And wait the Rebels shall do. Opening Day has been pushed back a week due to a scheduling mishap. Nothing like scheduling baseball fields in springtime in Wisconsin. How much would it cost to turf the field and get lights? Then the Rebs could play whenever and however long they want.

The Rebels will open the season at home against a Rome Raiders on Sunday, May 18th at Genesee Town Park. First pitch at 1:30. Free admission to the first 50 fans. *Donations requested during the passing of the hat*

The Raiders will bring a squad who, if rumors hold to be true, will be full of a few new faces this year as some of the old guard appear to have moved on from the game. I'll believe it when I see it. 

One plus about opening day being moved back a week is that it gives the Rebels some time to shake the dust off and maybe get a practice or two in. We be talking about practice right? I mean practice. Come on. Not a game. But practice. With tonight (May 8th looking like nice weather) perhaps the Rebels will get in that illusive first time on the diamond. Don't hold your breath. 

Check out the schedule for an updated season schedule and hope to see you out at the games. And if you happen to throw 90 mph with a filthy slider, we'd love to have you join!

Bring on the baseball. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Opening Day is Coming!

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Mark your calendars. Dust off the lawn chairs. Grab the sunscreen. Pack the cooler. Oh wait. Don't pack the cooler. Make sure you patronize the concession stand you freeloader! Rebels opening day is just around the corner. Hopefully Wershay's frozen shoulder will thaw with the coming spring, however, if the lingering winter is any indication of recovery time, the southpaw may need to convert to the land of the righty's. Either way, baseball is almost back!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spring Training

Can you smell that? Nope. Me either. All this damn snow makes it hard to think about baseball, but here's some good news for you. Major League pitchers and catchers report within the next week or so. Granted, that will be down south where it's sunny and warm, but still, baseball is coming.

The Rebels are gearing up for another season with high hopes. After a successful 2013 campaign, the Rebs are excited to get the ball rolling. The good news is, they have already made the playoffs. The bad news, so has the rest of the league. As long as Wersh can stay alive, the rookies come back, Brian gets some rest, Sturty convinces the wife that it's a good idea to drive up north to play baseball, Theissen keeps flapping his glove and rubbing his helmet, Aaron shortens his sermons to make it by opening pitch, DeMarais lays off the child rearing for a while, Jimmy gets faster, Bauer continues to be a loud A-hole, Lawrence doesn't leave his shoulder at third base, Mayo showers on the weekends, McFarlane keeps his geriatric body together, Stasik hits the gym, Joel keeps creepin, Nick continues ducking under strikes, and Engel shows up to throw BP every once in a while, the season should be a success.

Stay tuned for a finalized schedule.

Bring on Baseball!

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