STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Four days after many on the team wrapped up the spring high school baseball season, the Rhinelander Rebels opened this summer’s American Legion baseball season Monday at Stafford Field.
The Rebels played into the ninth inning before a bunt single by Martin Hoger drove in the winning run for their 3-2 home victory over Merrill.
Merrill did all its scoring in the third inning with a 2-RBI double by Ty Belfiori off of Rebels starting pitcher Matt Rudolph.
The Rebels tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning. They scored their first run when Brad Quade led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and reached home on a fly ball to center field by Kurt Zuiker. Cole Spaulding provided the tying run after walking, stealing second and scoring on a wild pitch.
Both teams changed pitchers after the fifth inning with Brandon Hess relieving Rudolph and Merrill going with Brett Seubert on the mound. Hess ended up with the win working four shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out four. Seubert went three-plus innings in picking up the loss, allowing an earned run on four hits while striking out two.
The Rebels closed out the game putting together three hits in a row in the ninth inning when Spaulding led off with a single, Zuiker reached base on a bunt that advanced Spaulding to third and Hoger bunted home Spaulding.
Following the season-opening home victory, the Rebels next play their first road game of the season at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Minocqua.
Rebels 3, Merrill 2 (9 innings)
Merrill 0-0-2 0-0-0 0-0-0 – 2 8 0
Rebels 0-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-1 – 3 6 0
WP–Brandon Hess; LP–Brett Seubert