MIDLAND, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got the key hits they needed to defeat the Great Lakes Loons 3-1 on Monday at Dow Diamond. Tyrone Taylor and Michael Reed drove in the Wisconsin runs in the top of the eighth inning to send the Rattlers to their fifth straight win.
The contest was a pitchers' duel for most of the day.
Wisconsin (13-14) got their first base runner of the game against Loons starting pitcher Angel Sanchez in the top of the fourth inning. Michael Reed drew a one out walk and stole second. But, Sanchez struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Great Lakes (12-18) had a one out double by Jesmuel Sanchez in the fourth and a leadoff single by Paul Hoenecke in the fifth inning against Rattlers starter Eric Semmelhack. Those were the only hits the Loons got off Semmelhack, who went six scoreless frames with a walk and four strikeouts.
Reed broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the top of the seventh inning, but Sanchez worked through the next three batters and stranded Reed at third base to keep the game scoreless.
Sanchez allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out eight over seven innings before turning the game over to the Great Lakes bullpen for the top of the eighth.
That was when the Timber Rattlers broke the scoreless tie.
Parker Berberet walked with one out and went to third on a two-out single by Orlando Arcia. Tyrone Taylor beat out a bunt single to score Berberet with the first run of the game. A wild pitch by Loons reliever Jonathan Martinez moved Arcia to third and Taylor to second. Reed smacked a single to center to drive in both runners and Wisconsin was up 3-0.
The Loons rallied against Preston Gainey in the bottom of the eighth. Jesus Valdez singled and Pat Stover doubled to give Great Lakes runners on second and third with no outs. Valentin got Valdez home and sent Stover to third. But, Gainey struck out James Baldwin and got Kevin Taylor to line out to left to end the inning and maintain a 3-1 lead.
Gainey would go on to work a scoreless ninth to finish off the sweep. Gainey picked up his first professional victory with his three innings of work.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday. They return to action on Wednesday to begin a ten-game, nine-day homestand with a doubleheader against the Clinton LumberKings. The Timber Rattlers have Tyler Wagner (2-1, 3.13) and Mike Strong (0-0, 1.89) as their scheduled starting pitchers. Clinton has named Tyler Pike (1-2, 2.74) and Rusty Shellhorn (0-0, 3.00) as their scheduled starters. A pair of 7-inning games are planned for the twinbill with game one scheduled to begin at 5:05pm.
Wednesday is a Bang for Your Buck Night presented by WIXX. Fans may enjoy soda, hotdogs, and beer for $1.
If you can't make it out to the stadium, My NEW32's Sports Showdown will telecast the second game of the doubleheader.
Both games will be broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 4:45pm. Both games will also be available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
WP: Preston Gainey (1-3)
LP: Jonathan Martinez (0-2)