PEORIA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers could not hold a 3-0 lead Saturday at Chiefs Stadium and wound up on the losing end of a 4-3 score in thirteen innings to the Peoria Chiefs. Alfredo Rodriguez had three hits and Tyrone Taylor drove Rodriguez in twice, but it was not enough as the Rattlers dropped their first contest of the 2013 season.
The bottom of Wisconsin's order got them going in the top of the third. Rodriguez and Michael Reed both singled with one out. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base with Taylor at the plate. The Chiefs brought the infield in and Taylor sent a grounder to second. But, the ball was booted for an error and Rodriguez scored without a play at the plate. Orlando Arcia followed with a single to right that knocked in Reed for a 2-0 lead.
Rodriguez and Taylor combined to give the Rattlers (2-1) a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. Rodriguez singled to start the inning and went to second on an infield grounder. Taylor doubled down the left field line to send Rodriguez home for the three run lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Brent Suter did not allow a run for his first 4-2/3 innings. But, Casey Rasmus reached on a swinging bunt with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Swinson followed with an RBI double to left-center.
Rodolfo Fernandez came on in the bottom of the sixth inning and gave up consecutive doubles to Patrick Wisdom and David Washington to let Peoria (2-1) within a run.
The Chiefs tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as the first three hitters singled. Rasmus had the third single in the sequence to drive in the tying run.
The game remained tied until the thirteenth, but not for lack of opportunities.
Wisconsin put their leadoff batter on base in the tenth and twelfth innings. Peoria put their leadoff batter aboard in the ninth inning. They loaded the bases and had a 3-0 count to Charlie Tilson with two outs in their half of the twelfth. But, neither team could push a run across the plate.
In the bottom of the thirteenth, Rattlers reliever Taylor Mangum retired the first two Chief batters. Then, Rasmus pulled a seeing-eye single into the hole between firsts and second. Rasmus would steal second to get into scoring position.
Swinson lined a 3-2 pitch off the glove of Jose Sermo at third base. The ball trickled into foul territory in left field and Rasmus raced for the plate. Sermo's throw was in time, but a bit high. Catcher Clint Coulter got the tag down quickly on Rasmus, but the Chiefs catcher went in headfirst and was ruled to have got his hand in just under the tag to score the winning run.
The final game of the four game series is Sunday afternoon at Chiefs Stadium. Jorge Lopez is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Peoria will send Kyle Helisek to the mound. Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.