Rafael Neda collected two hits and scored the winning run on a wild pitch as Class A Wisconsin defeated Fort Wayne, 3-2, in 10 innings in Game 1 of the Midwest League Championship Series on Wednesday.
The Brewers' ninth-round pick in 2010 singled to open the 10th inning and moved to second on Adrian Williams' sacrifice bunt. Brandon Macias was intentionally walked and Chadwin Stang grounded out to advance both runners. The TinCaps loaded the bases by walking Ben McMahan, and two pitches later, Luis De La Cruz uncorked the wild pitch that scored Neda to end the game.
"The previous pitch before it was really close to being a wild pitch," Neda said. "I was just expecting something in the dirt away from the catcher so I could just take a couple steps and go."
Neda gave the Timber Rattlers a 2-1 lead in the fourth with an RBI double and raised his playoff average to .333 in six games.
"I was seeing the ball good and I was trying to put the ball in play," Neda said. "Luckily for me I got two knocks, I'll take it. I'll take it every day."
In the best-of-5 series, taking Game 1 at home is extremely important, according to Neda.
"Everyone wants to take the lead in every series," the Mexican native said. "Especially at home, we only have two games at home. We took the first one now we have to keep it going. Hopefully, we can take the next one and we'll see what happens after. Hopefully, we can bring the championship home."
Jacob Barnes allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over seven innings but did not figure into the decision for Wisconsin. It continued a stretch of quality starts thrown by the Timber Rattlers, as their hurlers have only allowed five runs in their past five games.
"He was working hard every inning. He was getting his spots, we were trying to minimize his long innings and he did that a lot," said Neda, Wisconsin's catcher. "It helped him stay in the game ... and he did a really good job."
Brent Suter scattered three hits over three innings and was credited with the win.
Joe Ross gave up two runs on two hits with five strikeouts over five innings in the start for the TinCaps.