Tuesday's battle between Rhinelander and Mosinee, two of the teams picked to finish near the top of Great Northern Conference baseball standings this season, quickly turned into a one-sided affair.
Brad Comer limited Mosinee to two hits and the trio of Jacob DeMeyer, Tyler Blomdahl and Brad Quade combined for 10 RBIs as Rhinelander routed the Indians 11-1 in six innings in Mosinee.
The win moved Rhinelander to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the GNC heading into Thursday's showdown with Antigo at Stafford Field. It was Mosinee's first loss of the season (6-1, 4-1 Great Northern) and it came in convincing fashion.
"Mosinee was 4-0 (in the conference) and the other thing about tonight is it was Mosinee's only game this week," RHS baseball coach Joe Waksmonski said. "They have the bye Thursday so we saw their best pitcher and we were able to do some damage off him offensively."
Rhinelander scored seven unanswered runs to start the game, plating one in the first, three in the third and three in the fourth before Mosinee capitalized on a pair of Hodag errors to scratch across its only run.
DeMeyer reached on an error in the first and scored on a two-out hit by Quade. Back-to-back doubles by Easton Senoraske and DeMeyer led to a run in the third and Quade followed it up with a two-run single later in the inning. DeMeyer doubled home two in the fourth and Blomdahl added a run-scoring single to chase Mosinee starter Jace Baumann from the bump.
"Starting in the first inning we were able to push across one run. They had an error early on in the game and we were able to capitalize on it," Waksmonski said. "Then innings three, four, five, six, we scored in every one of those innings ... All the big run innings we've had, we've had multiple extra-base hits. We hit the ball well tonight - 14 hits on 11 runs. Mosinee had a couple errors, but we capitalized and made them pay for their mistakes."
Cole Spaulding doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alec Modrow in the fifth. Blomdahl hit a two-run double in the sixth and scored on a single by Quade.
That was plenty of run support for Comer (2-0), who struck out eight batters and walked only two in an efficient 89-pitch effort.
"Brad looked liked he was comfortable and in command the entire game," Waksmonski said. "He was right around the zone. If he wasn't throwing a strike, it was right around the zone. It was good to see. He got ahead of a lot of their hitters and was able to mix and match, and let his defense work for him."
Baumann and Ben Vandehey recorded the only hits off Comer - singles in the third and sixth, respectively. Zach Bednar reached on an error in the fourth, stole second and came around after Vandehey reached on an error to short.
Rhinelander is scheduled to play its first home game Thursday. The Red Robins lead the Hodags by a half game in the conference standings and, following Tuesday's results, the teams are the two remaining unbeatens in Great Northern Conference play.
"It's going to be a big battle," Waksmonski said. "We're hoping we can get it in and it's going to be a good game, I think, Thursday."
First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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