6/16/2017 7:29:00 AM Post 89 clubs Eagle River in five innings
Nick Sabato/River News
Minocqua’s Ryan McEnroe prepares to swing at a pitch during a 12-2 win over Eagle River in Great Northern Legion Conference action Monday, June 12, at Lakeland Union High School.
Nick Sabato/River News
Minocqua first baseman Bryce Crabtree stretches for a ball during a 12-2 win over Eagle River in Great Northern Legion Conference action Monday, June 12, at Lakeland Union High School.
After managing just four hits in the season-opening loss to Rhinelander, Minocqua pounded out a total of 20 runs in two games against Medford on Friday.
On Monday night, Post 89 looked to continue the hot hitting in a Great Northern Legion Conference matchup against Eagle River at Lakeland Union High School.
Minocqua didn't need to wait long to see if the bats were going to perform, scoring five runs in the first inning, one in the second and five more in the third en route to a 12-2 win in five innings.
"It's tough to beat us when we hit like that," Minocqua manager Mike Wilhelm said. "We hit like that on Friday, too. We had 15 hits against Medford in Game 1. If we're hitting, we're putting pressure on the defense and forcing them to make plays. If they do, they do, and if they don't we're going to capitalize and our lineup is pretty tough bringing back three college guys and having those guys in the lineup for us."
The key in this one was jumping on Eagle River early in the game. Scoring those five runs in the first inning set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Brett Slavinsky notched an RBI double to strike first, followed by RBIs from Caleb Menzia, Sam Killian, Austin Wanty and Parker Biertzer.
"Any time you jump on a team and you can put them down early, it really takes the wind out of their sails," Wilhelm said. "They played us relatively tough (during the high school season) and our playoff game was a little bit different. They have a lot of the same guys from the high school season, and to jump on them early to get that good start and get the wind out of their sails is a good start for us."
RBIs from TJ Ullius, Tate Olson, Jamie Slavinsky and Caleb Menzia resulted in another 5-run inning in the third.
While the offense stayed hot, Minocqua received a big outing from pitcher Tanner Nicklaus on the mound.
Nicklaus allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out five batters to pick up the win.
"Tanner threw absolutely great," Wilhelm said. "Tanner has done a total 180. At the beginning of the season, especially the high school season, but as he's seen more mound time and more mound appearances, he's gotten more, he's gotten a lot more solid. Tanner throws strikes. He's not going to strike a ton of guys out, but just to pound strikes, get ahead of hitters and let our defense work for him is pretty darn good."
Minocqua invoked the mercy rule in the fifth inning, but not before pounding out 15 hits in a game for the second time in a young season.
Jamie Slavinsky went 3 for 4, while Brett Slavinsky went 2 for 2 with two RBIs. Both of Sam Killian's hits were doubles, including an RBI, while Caleb Menzia went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Minocqua turns its attention to an invitational at Rhinelander beginning on tonight. The tournament brings games against Tomahawk, Mosinee and Chequamegon.
"To go down there and say we're going to win four in a row is an expectation of us, but there's some good baseball teams there," Wilhelm said. "Rhinelander's very good, Mosinee's playing at state right now, they're going to bring a lot of guys they're going to state with and not to take anything away from Tomahawk or Chequamegon. It's going to be some good baseball. Putting together four good showings is going to be an expectation for us."
Minocqua (3-1) begins its invite schedule today at 5:30 p.m. against Tomahawk at Stafford Field.
Nick Sabato may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SabatoNick.