EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOXSPORTSWAUSAU-WSAU) The Evergreens played very well on Thursday and deserved their 5-2 win over Antigo. The stars were five pitchers who scattered two runs and three hits. Sean Leudtke settled down and pitched solidly in the first two innings. Ryan Kell came out of the bullpen with none out and a runner-on in the 6 th inning. An error was committed behind him; he didn't allow a hit. Alex Kell gave up a run in the 7 th , but retired three-in-a-row to close out the game. The pitching star was Austin Behrens, who allowed only two base runners while working the 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th innings at get the win. Earlier this season it would be hard to even image using him in such a pressure-filled game; he's developed into a reliable strike-throwing pitcher over the course of the season.
The behind-the-scenes story of the game was the mismanagement of Antigo's pitching staff.
Randy Krebs has the best fast-ball the Evergreens have seen all year... he would be a number-one starter on almost any team. But Antigo listed two right-fielders on their initial line-up card, and announced moments before game-time that Josh Hale would be their starting pitcher. They were hoping to save Krebs for next week.
Hale, an average pitcher who often tipped-off his curve ball, gave up four runs in the 2 nd inning and dug a hole the Red Robins never climbed out of. It makes no sense to see your 19-1 season go down the tubes with your best pitcher parked in the outfield. When Krebs came in, it was too late. The coaching error in pitching choices cant be over-stated. The biggest advantage of having a bye in the first round of the playoffs is that you get to use your best pitcher against your opponent's second-best arm. Antigo essentially surrendered that edge against Everest, and the price was seeing their 19-1 season come to an end.