Rhinelander Little League All Stars start tournament with 1-2 record
Here is recap from first three days for the Rhinelander Little League All Stars. Rhinelander opened the tournament Saturday with a 10-5 loss to Lakeland from Kenosha area.
Hodags scored first on the board in the second inning. Payton Johnson led off with a walk. Walker Hartman reached on a fielder’s choice and moved up to second on a Quinn Lamers base hit. A Harlan Wojtusik grounder was misplayed by the Lakeland shortstop, allowing Hartman to score. Conor Pequet then followed up with a base hit to plate Lamers for a 2-0 lead.
The Hodags added two more in the third. Alex Fortier started the scoring with a one out single. Johnson was up next and hit a double over the centerfielder’s head that went to the fence. With two outs, Lamers delivered a base hit that score both Fortier and Johnson.
In the top of the fifth the Hodags scored their final run. After a Johnson walk, Lamers once again clutched up and doubled to the left center gap that scored Johnson from first.
In the bottom of the fifth the game took a forgettable turn for the Hodags. Pitchers struggled to find the strike zone. Four pitchers, eight walks, one error, and one hit later, the Hodags gave up ten runs.
Fortier and Isaac Bixby pitched the first four innings, allowing no runs on one hit and one walk.
On Sunday, Rhinelander lost 12-8 to Whitefish Bay. Whitefish Bay scored two in both the first and second innings to take a 4-0 lead.
Rhinelander got their bats going in the bottom of the second. Johnson lined a single to right center. Hartman ripped a double to right center and consecutive singles by Lamers and Wojtusik and an error allowed Hartman, Lamers, and Wojtusik to all score.
The Hodags added two more in the third to take the lead. Bixby and Fortier led off with back to back singles. They scored on a passed ball and an infield grounder. In the fourth, the Hodags scored again. Pequet reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a Bixby single.
Same as in game one, the Hodags had a 5th inning to forget. Whitefish Bay score eight on 6 walks, 2 hits and 2 Hodag errors. The Hodags scored two in the final frame. Following walks to Jordan Kuczmarski and Pequet, one scored on a passed ball and the other on a Bixby single.
Monday, the Hodags picked up their first win of the event 2-1 over the Eau Claire Nationals. Eau Claire scored an unearned run in the third to take a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hodags scored two runs. Hartman nailed a double the one hopped the fence in left center to start the rally. Pequet laced a double up the middle to plate Hartman. Pequet advanced to third on an error. After a walk to Jacksen Smith, the Hodags executed a double steal. Smith was thrown out at second but Pequet scored the winning run.
Hartman pitched a stellar game, pitching 5 2/3 innings before reaching his pitch count limit. Hartman gave up 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 1. Bixby picked up the save, needing only one pitch to close out the game.
Hodags play Kennedy from Madison on Tuesday and Appleton on Wednesday.