Carlos George put Wisconsin (10-7) up 1-0 with an RBI single in the top of the second inning. Greg Hopkins singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch. George shot a single back through the middle to send Hopkins home with the run.
Gagnon made that one run stand through six innings. He allowed three hits and a walk and struck out two.
South Bend's main threats against Gagnon came in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, the first two batters reached on singles and a sacrifice bunt moved the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position. Gagnon got the final two outs on a shallow fly ball to right and a strikeout.
Inciarte started the South Bend sixth with a walk. He stole second and took third on a wild pitch with two outs. But, Gagnon preserved the lead by getting the final out on a lazy fly ball to center.
Wisconsin reliever Stephen Peterson entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and kept the game 1-0 through the eighth.
Peterson got the first out of the ninth inning, but Marc Bourgeois beat him to the first base bag on a grounder to first for an infield single. Bobby Stone was next and his tailor-made double play ball to third went through the legs of Brandon Macias to put runners on first and second with one out instead of ending the game. Peterson hit the next batter to load the bases.
South Bend (9-8) tied the game as Niko Gallego sent a slow grounder past the mound. Wisconsin got the force at second, but Gallego beat the throw to first to let Bourgeois score the tying run. Stone kept running on the play and thundered around third to try end the game there. Greg Hopkins alertly threw the ball home and catcher Rafael Neda held on after a big collision at the plate to prevent the winning run from scoring in the ninth.
Wisconsin's hitters went down quickly in the top of the tenth and South Bend's hitters ended the game quickly in the bottom of the tenth. Chris Ellison singled and stole second base with one out against Seth Lintz. Inciarte singled to left-center, Ellison beat the throw home, and the Silver Hawks celebrated the victory.
Game two of the series is Monday night at 6:05pm CDT. Mark Williams (0-1, 2.77) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. South Bend counters with John Pedrotty (0-0, 4.44). Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:45pm.
WP: DJ Johnson (1-1)
LP: Seth Lintz (0-1)