CLINTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers needed a win at Clinton on Friday night. They got it. Alfredo Rodriguez drove in the only run of the game and three Wisconsin pitchers combined on the four-hit, 1-0 shutout at Ashford University Field. Austin Ross, Allan Williams, and Taylor Wall kept the LumberKings off the scoreboard and helped Wisconsin move a little closer in the playoff chase.
Parker Berberet started the Wisconsin fifth inning with a double off the wall in left-center. Clinton starter Victor Sanchez got the next two outs, but threw a wild pitch with Adrian Williams at the plate to allow Berberet to take third. Williams would draw a walk to get the inning to Alfredo Rodriguez. The Rattlers leadoff batter smacked a double down the line in right to score Berberet and the Rattlers (56-69 overall, 27-33 second half) were up 1-0.
Ross faced difficult situations in the first and third innings, but escaped each time. In the bottom of the first, a walk and a hit batsman put runners at first and second with one outs. Ross got out of the jam by getting Gaby Guerrero to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. In bottom of the third inning, the LumberKings (64-65, 31-29) got the leadoff batter on base due to an error. A two out walk put two runners on base for Guerrero again. Then, Ross struck out Guerrero to end the threat.
Ross allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out five in his five innings.
Alan Williams took over for Ross in the sixth inning. The lefty, who was making his 2013 debut with the Timber Rattlers, allowed a leadoff single in the seventh and a two out double in the eighth inning. But Williams held the lead.
Taylor Wall took over for the bottom of the ninth inning. Wall tossed a 1-2-3 inning, including two strikeouts. He struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Marlette to close out the game and earn his seventh save of the season.
The victory moved the Timber Rattler to within four games of Clinton for the Western Division Wild Card with ten games left to play in the regular season.
Clinton's remaining schedule includes a seven game road trip that starts on Friday with four games at Beloit followed by three games at Peoria. Clinton ends their season with three games at home against Cedar Rapids over Labor Day weekend.
The Timber Rattlers begin a seven game homestand with a game against the Kane County Cougars at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Saturday night. Preston Gainey (4-7, 5.40) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County sends Tayler Scott (5-8, 4.21) to the mound. Game time is 6:35pm. The Timber Rattlers end their season with three games at Burlington over Labor Day Weekend.
Saturday is Milwaukee Bucks Night at the ballpark. Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks Dancers, Seniorgee!, and the Rim Rockers are all scheduled to be on hand to meet fans to get ready for the NBA season. Fly Away Saturday means one lucky fan will win airfare for two from Funjet Vacations and Fox World Travel at this game. FOX 11 presents a postgame fireworks display.
My NEW 32's Sports Showdown will have the television broadcast starting at 6:00pm. You may catch the radio call on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting at 6:15pm. Saturday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
WP: Austin Ross (2-0)
LP: Victor Sanchez (6-6)
SAVE: Taylor Wall (7)