BELOIT, WI - A six-run deficit was too much for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Tuesday night at Pohlman Field. The Beloit Snappers got in front of Wisconsin 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning and held on for a 6-4 win over their in-state rivals. Tyrone Taylor went 5-for-5 with a double and a pair of runs scored to try and bring the Rattlers back. But the Snappers held on for the win and dampened Wisconsin's playoff chances.
The Timber Rattlers (54-68 overall, 25-32 second half) got a walk to start the game against Beloit starting pitcher Dylan Covey, but the right-hander got the next batter to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Taylor and Garrett Cooper followed with singles to put runners on the corners. Parker Berberet was next and he sent a screaming line drive right at the second baseman for the final out of the inning.
Beloit (69-58, 26-31) got their leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning aboard on an error. A walk, a strikeout, and another walk loaded the bases. John Wooten stepped to the plate, but the first run of the inning scored before he took a swing. A wild pitch by Rattlers starter Mike Strong let a run cross the plate. Wooten would follow that with a double to right-center and the Rattlers were down 3-0.
There was controversy in the second inning. Orlando Arcia tried to reach on a bunt single and was called out on a close play. Rattlers manager Matt Erickson discussed the call with base umpire Masa Ichiki and was ejected. Tuesday was the second game in a row Ichiki ran Erickson from the game. On Monday, the Wisconsin skipper was told to shower early after a Timber Rattlers home run was overturned into a foul ball in the top o the seventh.
Matt Olson extended Beloit's lead with a three-run home run to right-center in the bottom of the third inning. His 19th home run of the season put the Snappers up 6-0.
The Rattlers got to Covey with a two-out rally in the top of the fifth. Taylor reached on an infield single with two outs. Cooper drew a walk. Parker Berberet singled to knock in Taylor and knock Covey out of the game one out shy of qualifying for his first professional win.
The Taylor/Cooper duo combined to get Wisconsin their second run of the game. Taylor singled, his fourth hit of the game, with two outs in the seventh. Cooper followed with a triple to right-center to score Taylor and cut Beloit's lead to four runs.
Beloit brought Kris Hall into the game for the top of the eighth inning and he proceeded to walk the bases loaded. Max Walla drew a leadoff walk. Hall got the second out, but walked Tyler Roberts and Adrian Williams to load the bases. Chris Lamb took over for Hall to face Rodriguez.
The Rattlers leadoff batter worked the count full against Lamb and sent a hard grounder right at Beloit's second baseman. The Snappers got the force at second, but the throw to first was wild. That allowed both Walla and Roberts to score and the Rattlers pulled to within 6-4.
Rodolfo Fernandez, who came on for the Rattlers in the bottom of the fourth tossed a perfect bottom of the eighth inning. Fernandez pitched five scoreless innings for Wisconsin on Tuesday night to extend his current scoreless streak to 17 innings.
Taylor led off the Wisconsin ninth inning with a double inside the first base bag. Taylor became the first Timber Rattler to get five hits in a game since TJ Mittelstaedt on July 5, 2011. Mittelstaedt also happened to have his five-hit game at Beloit's Pohlman Field.
Berberet came to the plate with one out and Taylor still at second base. Berberet sent a line drive ticketed for left field, but shortstop Daniel Robertson speared the liner for out number two and fired to second to double Taylor off for the final out of the game.
The Rattlers playoff chances took a big hit with losses in the last two games of the series at Beloit. The Clinton LumberKings won on Monday and Tuesday at Kane County to extend their lead over the Timber Rattlers to five games with thirteen games remaining in the regular season.
Wisconsin begins a three-game series at Clinton on Wednesday night. Tyler Wagner (9-8, 3.24) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Clinton has named David Holman (3-6, 3.29) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280 or IHeartRadio beginning with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Matt Olson (19th, 2 on in 3rd inning off Mike Strong, 1 out)
WP: Trevor Bayless (1-1)
LP: Mike Strong (3-3)
SAVE: Chris Lamb (2)