Well, that wasn't the way the Rebels wanted to start their 2015 campaign. The always solid Waterford Rivermen came into Genesee on Saturday and laid a good old fashioned whooping on the shorthanded Rebs. With a final score of 17-7, the Rebels were outhit, outpitched, and outplayed in the season opener. Have no fear, however, as the Rebels are far from calling the season a wash and still have high hopes for the rest of the season. They are not ready to call themselves the Brewers!
The game started well for the Rebels who jumped out to a 1-0 lead through the first 3 innings. Starting pitcher Matt DeMarais kept the Rivermen off balance through three, but Waterford finally got to him in the fourth. They put up four runs off of a single, two doubles off the wall, and a towering home run that cleared the trees in right field. Down 4-1, the Rebels changed pitchers and went with Keith Koehn who did not get much help from his defense. A small strike zone, a collection of well-hit balls, and multiple errors by players playing out of position brought the Rebels into a sizable hole from which there was no return. Koehn pitched well, but the bats and errors become overwhelming.
A bright spot on the day was the Rebels offense. After finding themselves down 17-1, the Rebels managed to fight back and bring the score to 17-7. Scoring 7 runs in a game should be more than enough to win and doing so with a lineup missing a few key bats was very encouraging to see. Matt Bauer, Chris Elliott, and Mike Hodel each stung the ball during their at-bats and nearly every Rebel in the lineup reached base at some point during the game.
Another bright spot was the play of Matt Bauer and Mike Hodel in the infield. Bauer proved that he can truly "do it all" by handing the ShortStop position "like a man." Chris Elliott was quite proud of his teammate and even teared up a little during the postgame interview claiming that Bauer's play was "truly inspirational and motivational." Hodel added a web gem or two at second base. The two of them showed that outfielders are athletes too while DeMarais proved that pitchers should stay on the mound or in the dugout!
Losing by 10 runs is never fun, but the Rebels are looking at this game as a tune up for the rest of the season. Now that they have their legs under them and with the return of a few key players next week, the season should turn quickly around and the Rebs will be back on the winning side of things.
They return to action on Sunday with a 1:30pm game in North Prairie.