GRAND CHUTE, WI - Christian Powell pitched seven strong innings and Travis Harrison had a hand in all the runs the Cedar Rapids Kernels scored in a 3-1 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The game was the second half opener for both teams.
Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Eric Semmelhack retired the first five Kernels batters he faced in the game. Then, he walked Max Kepler on four pitches with two out in the top of the second. Harrison followed with a two-run home run to left on the first pitch of his at bat and the Kernels were up 2-0.
Harrison figured into a Cedar Rapids two-out rally in the top of the fourth. He doubled with two outs and none on base and went to third on a wild pitch. Michael Quesada drew a walk. Then, JD Williams drove in Harrison with a single to center and Cedar Rapids (41-28 overall, 1-0 second half) was up 3-0.
Wisconsin (29-37, 0-1) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. They had the bases loaded with one out and Orlando Arcia at the plate. Arcia sent a slow chopper to second. The Kernels got the runner at second, but had no chance to get Arcia at first for the inning ending double play. Mike Garza, the runner at third, crossed home plate to tally the run on the play.
But, that was the only run the Timber Rattlers would get off Powell, who worked seven innings, allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out five.
The Timber Rattlers tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the ninth against reliever Caleb Brewer. Victor Roache singled, his second hit of the night, to start the inning. Adam Giacalone followed with a single and Adrian Williams was sent to pinch run for Giacalone as he represented the tying run. But, Brewer rebounded to get a 6-4-3 double play and a strikeout against the next two hitters to end the game.
Wisconsin outfielder Michael Reed singled in the fourth inning to extend his on base streak to 37 games. That is the longest active on base streak in minor league baseball - and the third longest in MiLB - this season.
Game two is set for Friday night. Tyler Wagner (6-5, 3.32) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Cedar Rapids sends Josue Montanez (1-1, 4.66) to the hill. Game time is 7:05pm.
Friday night is North Shore Bank Family night. Children 12 and under receive a free hot dog and soda as part of family night. Plus, kids 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases thanks to Molina Healthcare after the postgame fireworks display.
The Timber Rattlers will hold a Salute to Paper on Friday night with lots of paper-themed promotions and games. Plus, there is a Kimberly Clark Kleenex giveaway to the first 1,000 fans to attend this game.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the television broadcast on My NEW32's Sports Showdown starting with their pregame show at 6:30pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Travis Harrison (12th, 1 on in 2nd inning off Eric Semmelhack, 2 out)
WP: Christian Powell (1-1)
LP: Eric Semmelhack (1-3)
SAVE: Caleb Brewer (1)