CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The weather hasn't warmed up yet, but the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers offense brought the heat on Monday night. Wisconsin banged out sixteen hits, including three home runs, on the way to a 14-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Perfect Game Field. Tyrone Taylor and Michael Reed each drove in four runs for the Rattlers. Mike Garza, Jose Sermo, and Taylor all cranked their first home run of the year to get the Rattlers to the .500 mark for the season,
Wisconsin (4-4) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Reed doubled with two outs to drive in Sermo for the early advantage.
But, the Kernels (7-3) answered in the bottom of the second. Adam Brett Walker hit a home run over the wall in center to tie the game 1-1.
Garza put the Rattlers back in front with a lead-off home run to left-center in the fourth. Chris McFarland followed with a triple to right-center. That would be the first of three hits on the night for McFarland. Reed pushed Wisconsin's lead to a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly to center that was deep enough to score McFarland.
The Rattlers offense sent ten men to the plate in the top of the seventh inning and scored six runs to grab a big lead.
Parker Berberet doubled and Clint Coulter walked with one out to set up the inning. Then, Sermo launched a three-run homer to left for a 6-1 lead. Garza and McFarland kept the hits coming with consecutive singles. Reed was next and he lined a triple to the corner in right field. Taylor finished off the streak of seven straight Rattlers to reach base with an RBI single and the Rattlers were up 9-1.
Wisconsin poured it on in the top of the eighth. There were two runners on with two out and McFarland sent a fly ball deep to right field. Walker made a leaping attempt on the catch and the ball hit the heel of his glove. The play was ruled a three-base error and two runs scored. Reed would draw a walk to bring Taylor to the plate. Taylor lined a three-run homer to left and Wisconsin's lead was 14-1.
Damien Magnifico was the starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. He went five innings and allowed only one hit other than the homer by Walker. Magnifico walked none and struck out five. Leonard Lorenzo tossed three scoreless innings and struck out five in relief of Magnifico.
The Kernels did score in the ninth on a solo homer by Dalton Hicks off Rodolfo Fernandez, but it was too late for the Kernels.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids with game one starting at 5:00pm. Wisconsin will send Brent Suter to the mound as the starting pitcher on game one. Jorge Lopez is set to go in the nightcap. Cedar Rapids has named Brett Lee as their starting pitcher in game one, but had not announced their game two starter as of the writing of this article.
Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280m WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 4:40pm.
Mike Garza (1st, 0 on in 4th inning off David Hurlbut, 0 out)
Jose Sermo (1st, 2 on in 7th inning off Matthew Tomshaw, 1 out)
Tyrone Taylor (1st, 2 on in 8th inning off Josue Montanez, 2 out)
Adam Brett Walker (1st, 0 on in 2nd inning off Damien Magnifico, 1 out)
Dalton Hicks (3rd, 0 on in 9th inning off Rodolfo Hernandez, 2 out)
WP: Damien Magnifico (2-0)
LP: David Hurlbut (1-1)