Max Ratty delivers a pitch during a Northwoods Babe Ruth Prep League game between Rhinelander Green and Rhinelander Black at Stafford Field Saturday, June 22. Ratty struck out 12 over six innings as Rhinelander Green defeated Rhinelander Black, 8-3. (Photos by Jeremy Mayo/River News)
Kaden Vanney looks toward the infield as he takes off for second base during a Northwoods Babe Ruth Prep League game between Rhinelander Black and Rhinelander Green at Stafford Field Saturday, June 22.
6/25/2019 7:32:00 AM Babe Ruth Roundup Rhinelander Green rallies past Rhinelander Black
Of Rhinelander's two teams in the Northwoods Babe Ruth Prep League, Rhinelander Green has the better record. But when the teams first played each other Rhinelander Black got the better of the intra-city matchup.
Rhinelander Green exacted some revenge in the rematch Saturday behind a strong six-inning effort on the mound by Max Ratty and a three-hit day from James Heck to defeat Rhinelander Black 8-3 at Stafford Field.
Trailing 3-1 after three innings Rhinelander Green, the visiting team for the contest, rallied to take the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth and tacked on four insurance runs in the seventh after Rhinelander Black was unable to drive in the tying run.
Owen Kurtz started the fourth-inning rally for Rhinelander Green with a leadoff walk. He stole second and scored on Jackson Freese's RBI singles. Two batters later, Heck delivered an RBI double to tie the game. He scored the go-ahead run later in the inning.
Rhinelander Black twice got the tying run in scoring position, but was unable to capitalize. Kaden Vanney hit an infield single to lead off the fifth, got to second on an error and took third on a passed ball, but Ratty struck out the side after Vanney to end the threat. Will Gretzinger hit a one-out single and stole second in the sixth, but Ratty fanned Oscar Hanson and got Caleb Plaumann to ground out to get out of the jam.
Rhinelander Green drove in some insurance in the seventh after back-to-back one-out walks to Ratty and Connor Augustine. Adrian Patrone followed with an RBI single. Augustine got to third on an error and scored on Kurtz's groundout. Patrone and Freese scored later in the inning on wild pitches.
Heck came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for Rhinelander Green, working around a couple of walks. Ratty struck out 12 over ice innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
Rhinelander Green had taken the lead in the second as Heck hit a two-out single to score Kurtz. Rhinelander Black took the lead in the third as Richard Threlkeld drove in Kaden Vanney on an RBI double, followed by walks drawn by Cody Everson and Kryle Vanney. Rhinelander Green mistakes allowed Threlkeld and Everson to score.
Rhinelander Green outhit Rhinelander Black 6-4 in the contest. In addition to Heck's three-hit day, Rhinelander Green got hits from Patrone, Kurtz and Freese. Kaden Vanney had two hits for Rhinelander Black. Threlkeld and Gretzinger also recorded hits.
The Black team was supposed to play Lakeland Black later on Saturday, but Lakeland Black never showed for its 12:30 p.m. game and the contest was ruled a forfeit win for Rhinelander Black, according to the league's website. The game was rescheduled from earlier in the year when Lakeland Black postponed due to not having enough players to play a game up in Minocqua. The teams are scheduled to face each other again Tuesday night in Rhinelander.
Rhinelander Black (4-5) was scheduled to travel to Prep-League leading Crandon on Monday night in a game that concluded after deadline. Rhinelander Green (5-5) travels to take on Lakeland Gray Wednesday and will host Lakeland Black Thursday.
Over in the Senior League, Laser Pros (9-0), traveled to take on Tomahawk Gold Monday night ahead of an intra-city showdown with Rhinelander Green (5-4) Thursday at Stafford Field. The Green team hosts Tomahawk Blue tonight in the second game of a Prep/Senior doubleheader at Stafford Field.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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