GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers moved back to the .500 mark with a 4-2 win over the Burlington Bees Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Austin Blaski tossed another solid start, the Rattlers offense was opportunistic to grab a 4-0 lead, and the bullpen held on for the win.
Wisconsin (16-16) was not opportunistic early as they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning, but did not score. The Rattlers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third inning and cashed in on a sacrifice fly by Adam Giacalone for a 1-0 lead.
Tyrone Taylor reached first on a two out error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alfredo Rodriguez doubled into the corner in left and Taylor raced home to make it 2-0.
Cameron Bedrosian entered the game for the Bees in the bottom of the sixth inning just as a steady rain began to fall. Clint Coulter singled and would wind up on third base after an errant pickoff attempt by Bedrosian. One out later Orlando Arcia drew a walk. Arcia would steal second with Tyrone Taylor at the plate. The ball got by Burlington catcher Anthony Bemboom for a passed ball to allow Coulter to score and Arcia to wind up at third base.
Later in the at bat Taylor would strike out on a pitch in the dirt. Bemboom had to throw down to first to retire Taylor for the second out and Arcia timed his break from third perfectly to beat the return throw to the plate to score the run that made it 4-0.
Blaski left the game with Jonathan Walsh at first and two outs in the top of the seventh inning with that 4-0 lead intact and the rain still falling on the stadium. Reliever Jono Armold entered the game and balked when he tried to make his first pitch to Chevy Clarke and he nearly tripped. Armold threw a wild pitch on his next offering and Walsh took third base. Then, Clarke walked and the Bees 911-19) were in business.
Another wild pitch by Armold let Walsh score and move Clarke into scoring position. Clarke would steal third and score on a throwing error to cut the lead to 4-2.
Armold would get out of the inning and pitch a scoreless eighth.
Taylor Wall worked a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
Blaski allowed a run on two hits over 6-2/3 innings. He struck out seven and earned his second win of the season.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. Jorge Lopez (0-2, 12.15) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Burlington has Jake Boyd (1-3, 2.61) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 1:05pm.
The Timber Rattlers will wear special pink jerseys on Mother's Day. There will be a silent auction for the jerseys during the game with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Central Wisconsin.
Fans may catch on the field before the game and there is a postgame autograph session scheduled, too.
During the game on Sunday, the first Survivor Games from Affinity Health Systems will be held. Breast cancer survivor Kathy Buelen will be presented with a pink jersey after the third inning to celebrate her survival.
If you can't make it out to the stadium, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
WP: Austin Blaski (2-0)
LP: Pat Lowery (0-1)
SAVE: Taylor Wall (4)