GRAND CHUTE, WI - In their first five home games of the 2013 season, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers offense had scored fifteen runs as the team compiled a 1-4 record. The bats woke up on Tuesday afternoon for 15 hits in a 9-1 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Jose Sermo and Mitch Haniger led the way with three hits and two RBI each for the Wisconsin offense.
The Rattlers (6-9) scored first. Parker Berberet doubled to start the bottom of the third inning. He scored when Michael Reed's grounder to short snuck under the glove of Carlos Correa.
Wisconsin starting pitcher Ryan Gibbard held the River Bandits (11-6) off the scoreboard on two hits through 5-2/3 innings. But, a solo home run by Chase Davidson tied the game 1-1 in the sixth.
The Rattlers answered back in a big way in the bottom of the sixth. Haniger and Victor Roache started the inning with consecutive singles off River Bandits reliever Colton Cain. Chris McFarland would follow with a double to right that drove Haniger home for a 2-1 lead. Colton walked Adam Giacalone to load the bases with no outs.
But, Cain struck out the next two batters and appeared to be primed to escape the inning with no more damage as he got ahead of Michael Reed. But, Reed smacked the next pitch for a two-run single the give the Rattlers a 4-1 lead. Sermo was next and he extended Wisconsin's cushion to 6-1 on an two-run double.
Sermo had entered the game to replace Rattlers centerfielder Tyrone Taylor in the bottom of the third inning. Taylor fouled a pitch off his left leg during his at bat. Taylor was tended to by the training staff for a few moments before walking off the field with a little assistance as he favored his left leg.
Gibbard turned the game over to Taylor Mangum for the seventh inning. Gibbard, in his first start of the season, allowed a run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.
Wisconsin tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Orlando Arcia singled in a run to make it 7-1. Haniger was next and he doubled off the wall in center to drive in two runs for a 9-1 lead.
Mangum wrapped up his three scoreless innings by getting a game-ending 5-4-3 double play. Mangum struck out three and earned his first save of the season.
Wisconsin is off on Wednesday. They return to Midwest League action on Thursday when they host the West Michigan Whitecaps at 6:35pm.
Thursday is an Arty's Old Fashioned Thirsty Thursday presented by 95.9 KISS FM. There is also a Dunkin Donuts Player Poster Giveaway on Thursday night. The first 1,000 fans to attend the game against the Whitecaps will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers pitcher Tyler Wagner courtesy of Dunkin Donuts. All fans can enjoy 16oz soda, beer, or Arty's Old Fashioned drinks for just $2 as part of Thirsty Thursday presented by Arty's Old Fashioned and 95.9 KISS FM.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, the game will be available on television to Time Warner Cable subscribers on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel; on the internet through MiLB.TV, or on the radio beginning with the Miller Lite Pregame Show on AM1280, WNAM at 6:15.
Chase Davidson (1st, 0 on in 6th inning off Ryan Gibbard, 2 out)
WP: Ryan Gibbard (1-0)
LP: Colton Cain (0-2)
SAVE: Taylor Mangum (1)