GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Burlington Bees broke open a close game with four runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-1 in game two of a doubleheader at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Wednesday night. The teams split the doubleheader as Wisconsin won game one 7-6 in ten innings.
Burlington (14-9) jumped to the lead in the first inning. Mark Shannon hit a leadoff double. Three batters later, Ryan Dalton singled to drive in Shannon for the 1-0 lead.
Bees starter Mike Clevinger kept the Rattlers (11-13) in check through four innings. He pitched around a two out single by Francisco Castillo in the second and a leadoff double by Taylor Brennan in the third. He took the 1-0 lead to the bottom of the fifth when Brennan struck again for the Rattlers.
Brennan, who had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the tenth in game on Wednesday, cracked a long drive to centerfield with one out. The ball cleared the 16-foot high wall 400 feet from home plate for a solo homer to tie the game at 1-1. The home run was the fourth of the season for Brennan.
Brennan went 4-for-8 with a single, double, triple, homer, two RBI, and two runs scored in the two games of the twinbill.
The tie did not last long. Mike Fish tripled to center to lead off the top of the sixth inning against Rattlers starting pitcher Anthony Banda. Angel Rosa smacked a 2-0 pitch through the drawn-in infield to drive in Fish and give the Bees a 2-1 lead. The hit also knocked Banda out of the game.
Wisconsin reliever Tyler Spurlin took over and walked the next two batters to load the bases. His third consecutive walk - this one to Ranyelmy Mendoza forced in Rosa to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Bees.
Spurlin struck out the next batter and got Stephen McGee to ground into a force play at second, but the throw to first to complete what would have been an inning ending double play was wild. By the time McGee was tagged out between first and second two more runs scored and the Bees were in control with a 5-1 lead.
Clevinger came back out get the first out of the bottom of the sixth inning before turning the lead over to his bullpen. Clevinger allowed one run on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts over 5-1/3 innings to run his record to 3-0.
A pair of Burlington relievers got the final five outs to close out the game and earn a split in the doubleheader.
Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson remains tied with Gary Thurman for the most career wins by a manager. Both have 215 wins.
The Rattlers and Bees will wrap up their series with another doubleheader on Thursday. Game one is scheduled to start at 12:05pm. Wisconsin has named Zach Quintana (0-1, 6.00) as their starting pitcher for game one and Preston Gainey (1-1, 1.26) as the starter for game two. Burlington sends Garrett Nuss (2-0, 2.42) to the hill for game one and Elliott Morris to the mound in the nightcap.
Thursday is FOX 11 Weather Day. There will be a special pregame presentation from the FOX 11 weather team and an opportunity for fans to check out the Wisconsin Storm Chasers vehicles. Bring out a school group for a special ticket price.
All fans can enjoy 16oz soda, beer, or Arty's Old Fashioned drinks for just $2 as part of Thirsty Thursday presented by Arty's Old Fashioned and 95.9 KISS FM.
Since this is a day game, show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $13.50 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog for a bonus Business Person Special from Baker Tilly, WVBO, and AM1280 WNAM. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older).
Taylor Brennan (4th, 0 on in 5th inning off Mike Clevinger, 1 out)
WP: Mike Clevinger (3-0)
LP: Anthony Banda (1-2)