PEORIA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored two runs in the top of the twelfth inning at Dozer Park on Memorial Day. But, it wasn't enough. The Peoria Chiefs scored three times in the bottom of the twelfth to hand the Rattlers a heart-breaking 4-3 defeat in extra innings.
Parker Berberet put the Timber Rattlers (22-24) up 1-0. He slugged a long home run to left field to lead off the fifth inning. Clint Coulter nearly made it 2-0, but Michael Swinson leapt at the wall and robbed Coulter of a home run.
Blaski was solid. He walked two, allowed five hits, but kept the Chiefs off the scoreboard. In the first inning, Breyvic Valera singled to start the frame. Blaski picked him off first base. Then, Ildemaro Vargas singled in the first inning. Blaski picked him off first, too.
Valera would single in the sixth inning against Blaski and a balk would move Valera into second with the tying run. Vargas followed with a fly ball to deep right that moved Valera to third with only one out. But, Blaski got out of the inning with a tapper back to the mound and a routine fly ball to center.
Taylor Wall entered the game in the bottom of the seventh as the rain started to fall. He worked around a leadoff walk and a two out double to maintain the 1-0 lead. The heavy rain that was headed for Peoria never hit the stadium and it never rained hard enough to stop the game. The rain eventually stopped in the tenth inning.
In the eighth, Vargas singled with one out. He was still at first with two outs. Then, Wall threw a wild pitch on a 1-2 pitch with Jacob Wilson at the plate. That allowed Vargas to move to second with the tying run. Wilson lined the next pitch to left for an RBI single to tie the game 1-1.
Wisconsin broke that tie in the top of the twelfth. Clint Coulter and Orlando Arcia singled with one out to put runners on the corners. Arcia moved to second on defensive indifference with Chris McFarland at the plate. The Rattlers still had runners at second and third with two outs when Sermo stepped to the plate. He lashed a single to right that drove in both runners for a 3-1 lead..
But, the Chiefs (25-23) rallied in the bottom of the twelfth. Valera singled and Vargas walked to start the inning. Swinson smacked a single up the middle to score Valera and send Vargas to third. Wilson, who tied the game in the eighth, tied the game again on a play that was also the game winner for the Chiefs. Wilson singled to center to drive in Vargas to make the score 3-3. Swinson attempted to go from first to third on the play and the throw from center hit him and trickled into foul territory.
Wilson took off for second when he saw the loose ball. The throw to try and get Wilson at second sailed into right field. That allow Swinson to trot home with the winning run.
The Timber Rattlers continue their current road trip with the start of a three-game series at Beloit's Pohlman Field on Tuesday night. Ryan Gibbard (3-1, 2.88) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Seth Streich (4-2, 6.81) is set to start for Beloit. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Parker Berberet (2nd, 0 on in 5th inning off Hector Hernandez, 0 out)
WP: Joe Donofrio (2-0)
LP: Jono Armold (1-1)