GRAND CHUTE, WI - Mike
Walker had an up and down evening for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Tuesday
night at Perfect Game Field. Walker
drove in an early run and committed an error that would eventually let the Cedar
Rapids Kernels tie the game. But,
Walker finished the evening on a big upswing as his three-run homer in the top
of the eighth inning put Wisconsin in front 7-5.
Wisconsin went on to an 8-5 win. Walker
went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI to pace a 12-hit Rattlers attack.
The Kernels (2-4) scored a pair
of runs in the bottom of the third after they loaded the bases with no outs
against Wisconsin starting pitcher Austin Ross.
A wild pitch scored the first run. An
RBI grounder by Wes Hatton tallied the second.
Wisconsin (4-2) went in front in the top of the fourth by sending eight men to the plate. Jason Rogers started the rally with a one out triple. Cameron Garfield walked to put runners on the corners. Walker doubled to left to drive in Rogers and send Garfield to third. Tyler Roberts was next and he sent a grounder to short. Garfield scored the tying run when the throw home was dropped by the Kernel catcher.
The Rattlers took a 4-2 lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Carlos George and Franklin Romero, the next two batters in the fourth.
Cedar Rapids tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first run scored on a grounder through the legs of Walker at third base. A two out single by Ricky Alvarez plated the tying run.
The Kernels grabbed a brief lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh when the Wisconsin defense could not turn a potential inning ending double play.
But, the Rattlers bounced back in the top of the eighth. Cody Hawn drew a leadoff walk. Rogers followed with a single. One out later - with Walker at the plate - the runners moved into scoring position on what was ruled a wild pitch.
The left-handed hitting Walker would line a 1-2 pitch to left field. The ball cleared the wall for a three-run homer and a 7-5 lead.
Garfield gave Wisconsin an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on an infield grounder.
Greg Holle, who worked out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth, pitched two scoreless frames to pick up his first professional save.
Game three of the series is scheduled for Wednesday night at Perfect Game Field. Matt Miller (0-1, 11.25) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Cedar Rapids sends Suammy Baez (0-1, 7.71) to the hill. Game time is 6:35pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or www.timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.
The Timber Rattlers return home on Friday night to start a three game series against the Peoria Chiefs. Game time on Friday at Time Warner Cable Field is 6:35pm. Tickets are available for all six games of the homestand between April 15 and April 20. Call the Timber Rattlers box office at 800-WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152 during regular business hours.
WI 000 400 031 - 8 12 2
CR 002 002 100 - 5 7 1
WP: Tyler Cravy (1-0)
LP: AJ Schugel (0-1)
SV: Greg Holle