Participants in the 2019 Hodag Baseball Alumni Game pose for a photo after the contest Saturday, July 6 at Hodag Park. Pictured in the front row, from left to right at Marcus McFee (Class of 2008), Brandyn Dahlquist (2012), Bryan Kronberger (2012), Ken Zuiker (1982), Tyler Blomdahl (2017), Jacob DeMeyer (2018), Ben Quade (2015) and Tom Pulec (1987). In the back row are Scott Gans (2011), Lucas Michlig (2012), Jamie Robinson (2008), Joe Zuiker (2012), Ryan Morris (2012), Kurt Zuiker (2016), Tom Fondow (2004), Jesse Robinson (2009), Ken Pazdernik (1972), Tyler Henkel (2009), Nate Schmidt (2011), Keith White (2004), Bryce White (2015) and Gabe White. Ben Ives (2000) participated but was unavailable for the photograph. (Photo by Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
Lucas Michlig, left, attempts to tag out Nate Schmidt.
7/9/2019 7:32:00 AM Odd team wins alumni baseball game
More than 20 players, representing four different decades of Rhinelander baseball returned to Stafford Field Saturday for the annual Hodag baseball alumni game. A back-and-forth contest was won by the team comprised of players mainly from odd-numbered graduating years, 6-5.
The teams swapped the lead twice in the sixth inning, with both sides plating a pair of runs. Bryan Kronberger (Class of 2012) hit a two-run, two-out single to score Joe Zuiker (2012) and Jamie Robinson (2008) to give the Even team a 5-4 lead.
The Odd team came back in the bottom half of the inning. Following a leadoff double by Tom Pulec (1987), Tyler Henkel (2009) hit a single to right to drive in the game-tying run. Later the youngest player in the field, 2018 grad Jacob DeMeyer, drew a bases-loaded walk to force in what proved to be the winning run.
The Even team raced out to the early lead scoring twice in the first inning on back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Joe Zuiker and Jamie Robinson. The Odd team got a run back in the second as Nate Schmidt (2011) doubles and scored on a base hit by Bryce White (2015).
Marcus McFee (2008) singled in a run to put the Evens up 3-1 in the second. Bryce White came through with another RBI single in the third and the Odds took the lead during a two-run fourth. Pulec singled and scored on a fielder's choice by Ben Quade (2015). Quade scored the go-ahead run later in the inning when Brandyn Dahlquist (2012) reached on an error.
Despite blowing a save in the top of the sixth, Jesse Robinson (2009) got credit for the win as he set the Even team down in order in the seventh. Ryan Morris (2012) pitched two-thirds of an inning in the sixth and took the loss for the Even team.
The former RHS players showed they still can play. DeMeyer, who grayshirted this past year at UW-Whitewater, went 1-3 three with a couple of deep flyouts to center and a triple to the right center gap. Joe Zuiker, Jamie Robinson, Bryce White, Pulec and Henkel all had two-hit days for their respective teams.
Henkel made the most impressive defensive play of the day in the third inning. On a Jamie Robinson grounder up the middle, Henkel raced from his defensive position at second and redirected the ball with his glove back to the bag where the Odd team got an inning-ending putout.
Robinson got a little redemption from the baseball gods in the sixth inning, however as his one-hopper to second took an awkward bounce and became stuck in the leg of Pulec's shorts. Robinson scored the go-ahead run following the unusual infield hit.
The event was sponsored by the Hodag Diamond Club and the players enjoyed a cookout afterward.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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