GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Beloit Snappers broke open a close game in the middle innings and held on to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9-6 on Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities. Wisconsin loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn't pull off the comeback. Dayton Alexander had four hits, including a pair of home runs, to lead Beloit to the win in game one of a four game series.
The Snappers (65-46 overall, 22-19 second half) struck first. Aaron Shipman drew a leadoff walk against Wisconsin starter Preston Gainey. Shipman stole second and went to third on a grounder. A slow chopper up the third base line off the bat of Daniel Robertson led to a play at the plate. Shipman beat the throw and Beloit was up 1-0.
Victor Roache tied the game with a line drive home run to left field as the leadoff batter in the second inning. Roache jumped on a 2-0 pitch to hit his sixteenth home run of the season.
The teams traded runs in the third inning. Alexander singled and stole second to start the frame for the Snappers. Shipman doubled to right-center to drive in Alexander. Wisconsin (45-61, 16-25) answered in the bottom of the third. Orlando Arcia tripled to left-center with one out. Alfredo Rodriguez drove in Arcia with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Alexander put the Snappers back in front with a leadoff home run in the top of the fifth. Then, a combination of errors and walks set Beloit up for a bigger inning. Errors on consecutive grounders by Shipman and Brett Vertigan put Snappers on second and third. A walk loaded the bases. Then, a walk to John Wooten forced in a run. Christopher Bostick singled to knock in the third run of the inning. A sacrifice fly from Matt Olson capped the scoring in the inning to put Beloit up 6-2.
The Rattlers came back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Rodriguez singled with two outs and Arcia at first base. The hit put runners on the corners. Michael Reed followed with a single to right to score Arcia. The throw to third to try to get Rodriguez wound up in the stands. That allowed Rodriguez to cross home plate and the Rattlers were down 6-4.
Wisconsin went to Ryan Gibbard in the top of the sixth. Alexander welcomed Gibbard to the game with a home run in his second straight at bat. Alexander had hit two homers in his previous 344 professional at bats.
Shipman followed Alexander's second home run with a single and he stole second. A two-out single by Wooten drove in Shipman.
Beloit made it 9-4 with a run in the top of the seventh. Matt Olson walked and a wild pitch moved him to second base. Ryan Mathews singled to drive in Olson.
Reed walked to start the Wisconsin eighth inning, but was at second base with two outs. Garrett Cooper doubled to right-center to knock in Reed. Parker Berberet followed with a single to drive in Cooper and the Rattlers were within 9-6.
That single by Berberet also extended his current hitting streak to eighteen games.
Stu Pudenz, who came on to get the final out of the eighth inning, made the game interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Roberts started the inning with an infield single. Arcia and Rodriguez each drew walks to load the bases. That put the tying runs on base and brought the winning run to the plate.
Pudenz got the first out with a strikeout. Mike Garza came up and sent a slicing line drive down the right field line on the first pitch of his at bat. But, the ball dove foul and the runners had to reset to their bases. Two pitches later, Pudenz got Garza to ground into a game ending 4-6-3 double play.
Game two of the four game series is set for Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin has Eric Semmelhack (1-6, 5.25) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Beloit has Dylan Covey (0-1, 5.68) set to start for them. Game time is 1:05pm.
Sunday is a Brewers Sunday presented by 107.5, The Fan. Fans may play catch on the field for thirty minutes starting at noon. Timber Rattlers players will be available for an autograph session on the third base concourse after the game. Time Warner Cable customers can receive up to four half-priced reserved bleacher tickets when showing their TWC bill at time of ticket purchase. Timber Rattlers players and coaches will be wearing Brewers-themed jerseys during the game for the second to last time this season. These jerseys will be up for bid in a live auction after the game on Sunday, August 25.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the radio call on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.tv.
Dayton Alexander (1st, 0 on in 5th inning off Preston Gainey, 0 out)
Dayton Alexander (2nd, 0 on in 6th inning off Ryan Gibbard, 0 out)
Victor Roache (16th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Derek De Young, 0 out)
WP: Derek De Young (5-4)
LP: Preston Gainey (4-6)
SAVE: Stu Pudenz (3)