Rhinelander Green poses with its championship medals after defeating Laser Pros International, 4-3, in the Northwoods Babe Ruth Senior League tournament championship game at Stafford Field Wednesday, July 17. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are Jacksen Smith, Cal Laggis, Ryan Jamison, Quinn Lamers and Sam Schoppe. In the middle row are Kolby Ridderbusch, Cole Lehman, Jacob Schoppe, Mason Davis, Sam Schneider and Joe Schneider. In the back row are manager Kass Schoppe, coach Tim Lehman and coach Brad Jamison. (Photos by Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
Rhinelander Greenís Joe Schneider slides into third base as the ball gets by Laser Prosí Ian Miller during the sixth inning of the Northwoods Babe Ruth Senior League tournament championship game at Stafford Field Wednesday, July 17. Schneider scored the game-tying run on the play and Rhinelander Green rallied from behind to defeat Laser Pros, 4-3.
7/20/2019 7:30:00 AM Rhinelander Green stuns Laser Pros to win Sr. League tourney
Rhinelander Green has been the comeback kids during the Northwoods Babe Ruth Senior League tournament. They scored five runs in the sixth inning to rally past Eagle River Red in the tournament opener and then scored twice in the seventh to walk off against Eagle River Blue in the semifinals.
The Green team saved its most impressive feat for last Wednesday night.
Trailing once again in the sixth inning, Rhinelander Green scored twice in the bottom of the inning and stunned its intra-city counterparts, Laser Pros International, 4-3 in the Senior League championship game at Stafford Field.
Overshadowed all summer by Laser Pros, which was the No. 1 seed and was looking to complete an undefeated 16-0 campaign, Rhinelander Green cashed in on a couple of mistakes to score the game-tying and game-winning runs.
The Green team had action in the sixth as Ryan Jamison and Joe Schneider singled and stole bases to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jamison was caught off third on a grounder to second by Cole Lehman, but the game broke in the Green team's direction moments later.
With Jacksen Smith at bat, Schneider made a break for third on a steal, the throw down sailed into left field, allowing Schneider to come around and tie the game. Lehman got to second on the play and eventually third when Smith grounded out to first. After Jacob Schoppe was hit by a pitch, a passed ball allowed Lehman to come around and score the go-ahead run.
Jamison came on to work a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh and the upset was complete.
Early on, it seemed like Laser Pros was on its way to another tournament rout. It won its first two games in the tournament by a combined score of 28-3. They appeared to be on their way again when Isaac Bixby walked and eventually scored on a passed ball, Devyn Orth doubled and Ian Miller singled to give Laser Pros's a quick 2-0 lead with only one out in the top of the first. Miller, however, was thrown out trying to go to second after a pickoff attempt missed the mark. Jesse Mahner then walked, but was erased from the base paths trying to steal second.
Neither team scored again until the fourth when Rhinelander Green tied the game. Jamison reached on an error and Schneider singled to set the table. Jamison scored when Cole Lehman reached on an error and Schneider eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2.
Laser Pros retook the lead in the top of the sixth as Miller walked and scored on a Mahner tripled to right center.
Outs on the base paths were a story for both teams in the game. Laser Pros was thrown out five times on the bases while Rhinelander Green was caught four times. Both teams made an out at home plate. Logan Cook was thrown out trying to score from third on a wild pitch for Laser Pros with the bases loaded and two out in the third. Lehman was cut down at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run on Smith's single to right in the fourth. Moments later Smith was doubled off second to end the inning following a flyout to shallow right by Jacob Schoppe.
Both starting pitchers went four innings and did not factor in the decision. Joe Schneider allowed two runs on three hits with five walks and five strikeouts for Rhinelander Green. Bixby allowed two unearned runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts for Laser Pros.
Smith was credited with the win for Rhinelander Green. He gave up a run on a hit with three walks and three strikeouts over two innings. Jordan Kuczmarski took the loss for Laser Pros, allowing two runs, one earned, on a hit with two walks over two innings. Jamison recorded a strikeout in a perfect seventh to earn the save for Rhinelander Green.
Rhinelander Green outhit Laser Pros 6-4 in the contest. Joe Schneider, who delivered the walkoff single in Monday's 2-1 win at Eagle River Blue, went 2-for-3 in the contest. Jamison, Lehman, Smith and Sam Schoppe had Rhinelander Green's other hits. Mahner had two hits for Laser Pros - the only hits the team recorded after Orth and Miller's hits in the first.
The four runs allowed matched a season-high for Laser Pros, which finished the season 15-1. Rhinelander Green, 4-4 at one point in the season, won six of its last seven games to finish the year 10-5 and win the tournament as the No. 3 seed.
In Wednesday night's Prep League tournament championship game, Three Lakes edged previously unbeaten Crandon, 7-6.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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