Monday, August 10, 2015

Rebels Clinch Third Place in Win over Dousman

The Genesee Rebels clinched a 3rd place regular season finish with a 10-6 victory over Dousman on Sunday afternoon. The win propelled the Rebels to a record of 10-5 and guaranteed them at least one home playoff game. With one game remaining on the regular season, the Rebels find themselves playing solid baseball at the right time of the year.

The game Sunday saw Derek Urban make his first start of the year on the mound and it almost turned out disastrous. Urban walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a single to have runners on first and second with nobody out. He then struck out the #3 hitter before giving up an RBI single to put runners on first and third with one out. Another walk saw the bases covered with an infestation of Frogs. Urban kept his cool and struck out the next batter before inducing an inning-ending-gound-out to escape with only one run crossing the plate.

The top half of the second inning went smoother as Urban kept the Frogs from adding to their lead. Genesee got on the board in the bottom of the second when Bourassa led off with a single and then beat an infield throw to second base on a Theisen groundball to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Hellman laid down a picture-perfect sac bunt and was followed with a Heckenkamp walk. Szajna struck out to bring up Bauer who smoked a dribbler down the third base line that the Frogs defender threw into right field plating Bourassa and Theisen. The Rebels had grabbed a 2-1 lead.

The bottom of the third saw the Rebels and Urban flirting with danger yet again. Dousman loaed the bases with one out before Urban walked in a run. The nine-hitter lofted an RBI fly-out to right field to put runners on second and third with two outs and two runs across. Urban again buckled down and unleashed the strong arm to strike out the leadoff hitter for the third out. All in all, it was not a terrible start for the young hurler. At times, he struggled with his command but limited the damage to three runs. He showed flashes of brilliance and left no doubt that when he is on, he is a lights out pitcher.

Three innings would be enough as Urban turned the ball over to veteran Matt DeMarais in the fourth.The Frogs looked to cash in on the pitching change as they ripped two ground-ball singles to start the frame and advanced to second and third on an errant throw from the outfield. With two outs, a wild-pitch and RBI single plated two Frogs to see then reclaim the lead lengthen their lead to 5-2.

The bottom of the fourth saw the Rebels bats wake up as Theisen, Hellman, and Heckenkamp got the inning started with three straight singles. Szajna struck out again before Bauer laced another single. Keith Koehn then blasted a triple to the left field fence, but a perfect relay saw Bauer cut down at the plate. The damage had been done however, as the Rebels had tied up the game 5-5.

DeMarais then settled in on the mound as he would only allow four baserunners and one run over the next five innings to close out the game. The Rebels, however, were not done scoring as they plated two runs in the 6th before adding three more insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th thanks to some crafty baserunning by Elliott who scored from second on an errant throw to first base and a triple to right center by Chris Theisen. The three run 8th would bring the scoring to an end as the Rebels would wrap up the game with a final score of 10-6.

The victory gave Genesee a bit of revenge as Dousman had defeated them earlier in the season. The Frogs continued to hit the ball well against the Rebels as they finished the game with 12 hits, but it was the Rebels offense which proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

The win assures Genesee of hosting a playoff game on Saturday, August 22nd. They will face either North Prairie, Burlington, or Oconomowoc who are all tied for the final playoff spots. East Troy will host the other game on Saturday with the winners facing off on Sunday, August 23rd to determine the second team who will represent the Southwest in the Grand Championships.

The game Sunday was the final game of the season for Rebels Dom Nabak and Nelson Heckenkamp who both report to school this week. Nabak will take his talents to the balmy tropics of the Twin Cities area where he will bring his sarcastic comments and meathead mentality onto the football field for Concordia where he will no doubt torment the underclassmen running scout team offense. Heckenkamp returns to Arizona for his senior year of high school. Even though both of them did not see much time on the field this year due to injuries, they will be missed down the stretch and look forward to stellar seasons in 2016.

The Rebels finish up the regular season with a game at Waterford next Saturday, August 15th. The game is relatively meaningless in regards to the Southwest Division as both the Rivermen and the Rebels have their spots locked down, however, Waterford is playing for the overall #1 seed heading into the Grand Championships and there is a chance that a 3rd team from the Southwest could receive an at-large bid to the tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30pm.

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