For the second week in a row, the Genesee Rebels entered a Land O Lakes game as the underdog, and for the second week in a row, they were able to pull out a victory. This last Sunday, the rebels traveled to Oconomowoc to take on the 2-0 Titans and walked away with a 7-2 victory. The win handed the Titans their first loss of the season and brought the Rebels up to a .500 record on the season.
The Rebels took advantage of some early Oconomowoc fielding errors to score get on the board in the top of the first. With two outs and runners on first and second, the Titans looked to escape an early jam but a costly error by the third baseman allowed Keith Koehn to score the first run of the inning. Two pitches later, a wild pitch made its way to the backstop which brought in Chris Elliott. When the dust cleared, the Rebels had scored two runs on no hits.
The Rebels defense would prove to be solid enough behind him to get the job done. Rookie Brandon Molkentin had his first start at Short and made quite a few nice plays on the day. Left Fielder Chris Theissen let the cannon loose in the bottom of the 6th when he threw out Aaron Benz at the plate. On the play, Nick Heckenkamp made a nice play to secure the throw off a wicked hop and slap the tag down before Benz crossed the plate. While it appeared to be a good call from the Rebels vantage point, the Titans were none too happy about it and the fans were almost treated to their first ejection of the year.
The defense came up huge again in the bottom of the 8th as the Titans had a bit of a rally going when Leslie drove a two-out hit to left field that plated Pierce. Winkelman was held up coming around third but the trail runner apparently didn't get that signal and was caught in a run down to end the inning and the threat. It was just another usual 7-2-6 put out.
The Rebels bats received a much needed lift from the addition of Nelson Heckenkamp who made his first start of the year in Right Field. Nelson finished the day going 3 for 4 with 2 singles, 1 double, 1 rbi, and 2 runs scored. His performance overshadowed that of his older Nick who had a measly 1 hit, 1 rbi, and 2 runs scored. The Rebels were treated to a double-dip of fist pumps as both Heckenkamps have no reservations about showing their enthusiasm!
In a nice turn of events for the Rebels, it was the bottom of their order who sealed the deal on the day. The bottom half was responsible for 5 runs and 5 hits on the day. Matt Bauer and Chris Elliott continued their respective hit streaks by each tallying a single on the day as well. On a lesser note, the Rebels did strike out 8 times on the day which brings their season total to 33 Ks on the year as they continue to have a hard time finding hits as they are batting .213 as a team.
On a good note, they are hitting .213 as a team and have 2 victories against 2 very good ball clubs in the East Troy Express and the Oconomowoc Titans. As their bats find their grooves, there is no telling what damage the Rebels will bring to their opposition.
The Rebels return to action on Sunday when they take on the Dousman Frogs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30pm on Sunday.