GENEVA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers grabbed an early 2-0 lead against the Kane County Cougars on Thursday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. But, Kane County rallied with a big sixth inning to defeat the Rattlers 6-2.
Parker Berberet ended one streak and extended another with his leadoff double in the top of the second for the Rattlers. Before the two-base hit by Berberet, Wisconsin's last 24 hits had been singles. Berberet also pushed his hitting streak to 16 games with the double. That matches the longest hitting streak by a Timber Rattler this season. Tyrone Taylor had a 16-game hitting streak earlier this season.
Max Walla cashed in the double with a single to center to send Berberet home for a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin (44-60 overall, 15-24 second half) added to their lead in the top of the third. Lance Roenicke was hit by a pitch with one out. Mike Garza extended his hitting streak to eleven games with a single to right-center to send Roenicke around to third. Roenicke scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
The Cougars (43-61, 13-25) pulled to within a run in the bottom of the third inning. Oliver Zapata hit a solo home run to right to leadoff the frame and make the score 2-1.
That home run was the only hit allowed by Wisconsin starter Jorge Lopez through five innings. But, the game turned on Lopez and the Timber Rattlers in the bottom of the sixth.
Jose Dore hit a leadoff home run to start the Kane County half of the sixth to tie the game. That home run by Dore started a string of seven straight hits by Cougars batters to would lead to five runs and a 6-2 lead by the time Dore made the final out of the inning.
Gioskar Amaya followed Dore's homer with a single. An errant pickoff throw and a wild pitch by Lopez sent Amaya around to third. Wisconsin brought the infield in to cut down the lead run at the plate, but Albert Almora singled through the center of the diamond to drive in Amaya for a 3-2 Kane County lead. That was the end of the line for Lopez.
Dan Vogelbach greeted Rattlers reliever Chris Razo to the game with a double into the corner in left that drove Almora home. Jeimer Candelario singled to right to put runners on the corners. Rock Shoulders continued the onslaught with a double into the corner in right to drive in the final two runs of the inning that put Kane County up 6-2. Willson Contreras had the final hit of the sequence with an infield single, but the Cougars would not score again in the sixth. The would not need to score again.
The Timber Rattlers would get base runners in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, but did not threaten to score as they took their fourth loss in a row.
Wisconsin had nine hits in the game, but just one extra base hit, the double by Berberet. In the three game series at Kane County, the Rattlers have 30 hits - 29 singles - and have scored seven runs.
The final game of the series is Friday night. Austin Ross (0-0, 7.71) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County will send Michael Heesch (3-8, 3.82) to the hill. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Oliver Zapata (5th, 0 on in 3rd inning off Jorge Lopez, 0 out)
WP: Andrew McKirahan (1-0)
LP: Jorge Lopez (5-7)