The Genesee Rebels climbed above .500 for the first time this season when they traveled to Ixonia on Sunday and took two big games from the Snappers. Excellent pitching, solid defense, and an offensive explosion led to 19 runs scored on the day. The victories vaulted the Rebels into 4th place in the Southwest Division and had them playing their best ball of the season.
In game one, Matt DeMarais took the mound and looked to get the day started with a win. After the Rebels scored 4 in the top of the first, the Snappers looked to get to DeMarais early. A leadoff single, stolen base, and bloop single over second had the Snappers on the board early. DeMarais settled in after that and retired the next three hitters to get out of the inning after allowing only one run. He then turned on cruise control and retired the 14 batters in a row, striking out 8 Snapper hitters during that stretch including striking out the side in the 5th. With the Rebels pouring on the offense, the game looked out of hand until the stars aligned and the Snappers put together a rally in the bottom of the 6th. A leadoff walk, followed by three consecutive hits turned the tables on DeMarais and the Rebels. After a brief mound visit, during which the player-coach talked to himself like a crazy person, the Rebels were out of the inning. The damage had been done however as the Snappers pushed across 4 runs in one inning. It would be too little too late for Ixonia as DeMarais retired the side in order in the 7th for the complete game victory. On the day, DeMarais struck out a career high 9 batters and only allowed 5 hits. Unfortunately for DeMarais, 4 of the hits came in the 6th inning so his ERA still needs some work!
Offensively, the Rebels let loose with a barrage of hits. The offensive stats for Genesee included 17 hits, 11 RBI's, 4 SB's, and 3BB's. The top of the order, Theisen-Koehn-Elliott combined to go 11 for 15 with 8 runs scored. Newcomer Lucas Bourassa recorded his first hit for the Rebels and 8 of the 9 starters recorded at least one hit on the day. The Rebels scored early, notching 7 runs in the first two innings, and late, plating 4 runs in the last two innings.
Game two proved to be much of the same as the Rebels handed the ball to Keith Koehn who did not disappoint as he turned in a complete game scattering 8 hits, striking out 5, and walking 1. Koehn pitched his way out of jams in the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 7th, not allowing the Snappers to get the clutch hit to push runs across the plate.
In the first, Koehn allowed the first two batters to reach before inducing a pop up and then, for the first time in recent history, a 6-4-3 double play to retire the side. In the 4th, Ixonia loaded the bases with 2 outs before Keith struck out the 8 hitter to once again escape. The 5th inning saw the bases once again full of Snappers when Koehn again ended the threat with a strike out. When asked about the near disastrous innings, Koehn smiled and said, "Danger? Ha. I laugh in the face of danger. (He then cackled like a hyena)" He actually said nothing of the sort, but it sounds like something that he might say.
Offensively, the Rebels once again struck pay dirt as they turned in 11 hits for the game. Theisen kept his strong day going in the leadoff spot by notching two more hits leading the absent Matt Bauer to research Wally Pipp. Aaron Dolan made an appearance and continued to wow with his smooth skills smacking two line drives to left field and playing a flawless short. When asked about how he maintains his skills through practice, he responded, "Practice? We be talking about practice? I mean come on. Practice? We talking about practice?" Switalski also found his swing hitting two ground ball singles through the hole and almost going yard. Swit seems to be finding his swing just in time to trade in his bat and glove for a spiffy uniform and ice cream scoop.
The day brought two much needed wins to the Rebels who now find themselves sitting in 4th place. They return to action on Sunday with a home game against the Dawgs. It will prove to be a big game for both North Prairie and Genesee as their previous matchup was played evenly until the Dawgs pulled away late in the game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30pm in Genesee. There will be an "old timer's game" from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Any previous players for the Rebels or Land O Lakes teams in general are encouraged to come out and show they still have it. The structure of the game will depend on who and how many show up. Any volunteers to catch? Otherwise, the Rebels will throw out some young guys to fill in the spots. Come on out for a great day of Rebel baseball and Classic Cars (the Wales - Genesee Lion's Club is hosting a Class Car show from 10-4 on Sunday as well.)