Both teams had chances to score early. But each time pitching and defense held the opponents off the board.
Bowling Green (14-9) had runners at the corners with no outs in the first inning. Rattlers starting pitcher Mark Williams recorded a strikeout and got a double play to get out of the inning.
Wisconsin (12-11) had the same situation in the bottom of the second inning and Bowling Green starter Trevor Shull got the same result as his defense turned an inning ending double play.
In the fourth, the Rattlers had the bases loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks. But, Shull dodged the bullet. Greg Hopkins sent a fly ball to shallow center and Max Walla tagged from third to try to score. The throw from Drew Vettleson beat Walla to the plate and catcher Alejandro Segovia held on for the third out after Walla crashed into him in an attempt to jar the ball loose.
Williams had retired ten straight from the start of the fourth through the first out of the seventh inning. But, a throwing error on Yadiel Rivera allowed Todd Glaesmann to reach. Jeff Malm was next and he sent a sinking liner to right field. Walla made a diving try for the ball, but could not make the catch and the ball scooted to the wall for an RBI triple.
Tyler Cravy relieved Williams after the triple and allowed an RBI double to Taylor Motter and Bowling Green was up 2-0.
Hot Rods reliever Jake Partridge, who took over in the bottom of the fifth inning, allowed one hit and faced the minimum over four innings of scoreless relief for his third win of the season.
The Hot Rods added four runs in the top of the ninth. Cravy walked the first two batters and - after a bunt moved both runners up - walked a third intentionally to load the bases. Kevin Shackelford took over for Cravy and gave up an RBI single to Alejandro Segovia, a two run single to Jake Hager, and an RBI single to Tyler Goeddel and the Hot Rods extended their lead to 6-0.
Chadwin Stang had a leadoff triple in the bottom of the ninth against Austin Hubbard, but he was left stranded.
Saturday's shutout loss was the first for the Rattlers in 2012. The last time Wisconsin did not score in a game was August 13, 2011, a stretch of 43 games.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. David Goforth (2-1, 6.27) is scheduled to start and Fond du Lac native Chad Pierce is set to come in relief for Wisconsin. Bowling Green will send Ryan Carpenter (3-1, 3.13) to the hill. Game time is 1:05pm.
Sunday is a Brewers Sunday courtesy of 107.5, The Fan with a special appearance by Milwaukee Brewers mascot Bernie Brewer. Timber Rattlers players will be wearing Brewers-themed jerseys during the game. Time Warner Cable customers can receive up to four half-priced reserved bleacher tickets when showing their TWC bill at time of ticket purchase. There is catch on the field before the game and a player autograph session after the game.
If you can't make it to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
WP: Jake Partridge (3-0)
LP: Mark Williams (0-3)