Wisconsin (37-23) took advantage of a Clinton miscue to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jason Rogers was at first with two outs and a 3-2 count on Nick Ramirez. Ramirez singled to center and Rogers, who was running on the pitch, raced around to third base. A routine throw back into the infield was wild and Rogers scampered home as the Clinton infield tried to track down the baseball.
That unearned run was the only tally allowed by LumberKings starting pitcher Brett Shankin. He worked five innings and allowed two singles to keep the LumberKings (22-37) close.
Rattlers starting pitcher Will West was a tad better than Shankin. West tossed five scoreless innings and scattered three hits and three walks around four strikeouts.
Clinton would tie the game in the top of the seventh. Dillon Hazlett led off the inning against Wisconsin reliever Jacob Barnes with a home run off the scoreboard above the wall.
Wisconsin missed on an opportunity to break the tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. Greg Hopkins reached on a bunt single and Cameron Garfield walked. But, Yadiel Rivera popped out on a bunt attempt and John Dishon lined into an inning ending double play.
The LumberKings took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single by Mario Yepez. That single sent Ramon Morla home from second base to give Clinton the edge.
Andrew Kittredge, who came on in the sixth inning, tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth by striking out the side. Then, Stephen Shackelford retired the heart of the Rattlers order in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game for his first save.
The trio of Clinton pitchers held the Rattlers to three hits in the game.
Wisconsin saw their lead in the Western Division cut by a game. Beloit, the team in second place in the division rallied to win 4-3 at Burlington on Thursday night. Wisconsin's lead over Beloit is down to two games with ten games left to play in the first half.
The final game of the series is Friday night. Wisconsin has Matt Miller (3-5, 4.57) as the scheduled starting pitcher. Clinton has set Trevor Miller (3-3, 3,27) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Miller Summer Kickoff continues on Friday with $1 Miller products and ticket giveaways to Noah's Ark, Summerfest, Country USA, Rock USA, and the EAA Fly-In. If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game is also available to MiLB.TV subscribers.
The Timber Rattlers are honoring pitchers Chad Thompson and Mark Williams for their combined no-hitter on May 4 in Clinton with a combined player poster giveaway to the first 1,000 to attend Friday's game. Both Rattlers pitchers are featured on poster #5 in the series of 10 player posters for the 2012 season.
North Shore Bank Family night also means that children 12 and under eat free. Then, stick around after the game for the first post-game fireworks display of the season. After the fireworks, children 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases presented by Jernegan's Health Mart.
Dillon Hazlett (2nd, 0 on in 7th inning off Jacob Barnes, 0 out)
WP: Andrew Kittredge (1-0)
LP: Jacob Barnes (2-2)
SAVE: Stephen Shackelford (1)