GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers fell behind the Kane County Cougars early in Monday's game at Time Warner Cable Field. Then, Rattlers offense scratched out enough runs while Tyler Wagner and Harvey Martin shut the Cougars down the rest of the way. Wisconsin defeated Kane County 4-2 and picked up another game in a late season move at a playoff spot.
The Cougars (52-76 overall, 22-40 second half) took the early lead with two runs in the top of the second inning. Oliver Zapata chopped a single into right with runners on the corners to drive in the first run. Reggie Golden grounded into a force out at second to drive in the second run. Kane County would load the bases, but Wagner got out of the inning to keep the Cougars at a 2-0 lead.
That lead didn't last long. Wisconsin (58-70, 29-34) stormed back with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the second. Victor Roache started the inning with single. Parker Berberet worked the count to 3-2 and - with Roache on the move - doubled to left-center. Roache easily scored on the play. Max Walla was next and he lined a double down the line in right to drive in Berberet with the tying run.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the fifth. Orlando Arcia started the inning with a single. He went to second on a wild pitch and took third on a grounder off the bat of Dustin Houle. Adrian Williams was at the plate with a 1-1 count. Kane County starter James Pugliese went to deliver the ball to the plate, but stopped when the catcher jumped out for a pitchout. That resulted in a balk and allowed Arcia to score the go ahead run.
Wagner settled in after the second inning. He tossed a total of seven innings, ended his performance with seven strikeouts, and was in position for his tenth win of the season.
Martin took over for Wagner and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.
The Rattlers tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Cougars reliever Brian Smith. Williams and Alfred Rodriguez had consecutive singles to start the frame. Williams moved to third on a bunt by Michael Reed that resulted in a force out on Rodriguez at second base. Tyrone Taylor stood at the plate and Smith uncorked a wild pitch to let Williams score to put the Rattlers up 4-2.
Martin worked around a one out single in the top of the ninth inning to close out the Cougars for his third save. The victory was the fourth in the last five games for the Timber Rattlers.
Wisconsin picked up ground on Clinton in the Wild Card race. The LumberKings lost 6-5 at Beloit to see their second half record fall to 31-32. It was their fifth straight loss. Wisconsin now trails Clinton by two games. There are seven games remaining in the regular season. Wisconsin must finish at least one game ahead of the LumberKings to claim the Wild Card spot because Clinton won the season series from the Timber Rattlers and holds the tie-breaker.
The final game of the series with the Cougars is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Jorge Lopez (7-8, 5.30) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County has Nathan Dorris (6-3, 2.80) set to start for them. Game time is 12:05pm.
Kids play free in the Kids' Zone and there is a free JanSport Backpack Raffle as part of Kids Rock the Ballpark on Tuesday. Plus, donate school supplies at the gate and receive a voucher that allows you to receive a reserved seat ticket for free when you buy a reserved seat ticket to this game.
Also, show your business card at the box office on Tuesday and you will receive a box seat ticket, your choice of beverage, and your choice of brat or hotdog for $11.50 from Baker Tilly, WNAM, and WVBO. This offer is also available to fans 55 & older.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:45am. Tuesday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
WP: Tyler Wagner (10-8)
LP: James Pugliese (0-1)
SAVE: Harvey Martin (3)