BURLINGTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers battled the Burlington Bees at Community Field through all nine innings on Saturday night. But, the Bees squeaked out an 8-7 victory on an early barrage of runs and a late rally that took advantage of some wildness of the part of the Rattlers pitchers.
Burlington (30-51 overall, 4-12 second half) grabbed the lead with four runs in the bottom of the third inning as they collected six hits and sent ten men to the plate against Wisconsin starter Eric Semmelhack. Wendell Soto started the inning with a bunt single and went to second on a wild pitch. Riley Good singled to drive in Soto for the first run of the inning. A balk sent Good to second. A single by Anthony Bemboom put Good on third. A double by Andrew Ray drove in Good for a 2-0 lead. Semmelhack walked the next batter to load the bases.
Exicardo Cayones drove in the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly. Chance Ross made it 4-0 with an RBI single.
The Rattlers (35-46, 6-10) stormed back to tie the game in the top of the fourth. The loaded the bases on a walk to Tyrone Taylor and singles by Mike Garza and Adam Giacalone. Max Walla drove in a pair of runs with a double. Tyler Roberts was next and his grounder to short got a pair of runners to score. The ground out was enough to get Giacalone home from third. The throwing error let Walla score from second to even the score 4-4.
The Bees hit a pair of home runs off Semmelhack in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead. Bemboom hit a line shot over the wall in right with one out to give the Bees a 5-4 lead. Wade Hinkle went the other way with two outs for a home run over the wall in left-center to put the Bees up 6-4.
The Rattlers scored a run in the top of the fifth. Victor Roache singled with two outs. Mike Garza sent him home with a triple to right-center.
Wisconsin tied the game in the top of the eighth inning. Walla singled with one out and Roberts blooped in a double to right field to put runners on second and third. Chris McFarland smacked a single off reliever Chris O'Grady. Walla scored as the ball trickled to the third base line. The Rattlers attempted a suicide squeeze with Roberts breaking from third, but it didn't work and the Bees escaped the eighth with the score tied.
Burlington mounted a rally in the eighth on a leadoff single, a hit batsman, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk against reliever Rodolfo Fernandez. Wisconsin went to the bullpen and brought in lefty Mike Strong to face Bemboom, a left-handed batter. But, Strong walked Bemboom on four pitches to force in the go ahead run.
Taylor walked with one out in the top of the ninth inning. But, Bees closer Jairo Diaz retired the next two batters looking at strike three to finish the Rattlers.
The series continues Sunday afternoon at Community Field. Tyler Wagner (7-6, 3.46) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Tyler DeLoach (1-2, 3.27) is set to start for Burlington. Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.
Anthony Bemboom (5th, 0 on in 4th inning off Eric Semmelhack, 1 out)
Wade Hinkle (8th, 0 on in 4th inning off Eric Semmelhack, 2 out)
WP: Chris O'Grady (1-0)
LP: Rodolfo Fernandez (1-3)
SAVE: Jairo Diaz (8)