GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Burlington Bees defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6-4 in game one of Thursday's doubleheader at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Bees are 5-2 in seven games against the Rattlers this season.
Burlington (15-9) scored first for the third time in the first three games of this series. Ranyelmy Mendoza drove in the first run with a second inning single. Erick Salcedo made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in that same inning.
Wisconsin (11-14) rallied for a run in the bottom of the second. Chris McFarland doubled to start the inning. A one out double by Rafael Neda drove in McFarland.
The Bees plated two more runs off Rattler starting pitcher Zach Quintana in the third. Mark Shannon doubled to start the inning. Mike Fish sent a grounder to short and Shannon tried to go to third. Angel Ortega decided to go to third with the throw and would have had Shannon by plenty. But, the throw hit Shannon in the back and everyone was safe. Quintana hit the next batter to load the bases.
Angel Rosa was next and he worked the count full before drawing a walk to force in Shannon for a 3-1.
Exicardo Cayones stepped to the plate and line a deep drive to left field. The ball hit the top of the 16-foot high wall and just missed going out for a grand slam. But, the three runners on base held to see if the ball would be caught. They could all only move up one base and Fish was the only Bee to score on the play.
Quintana regrouped and got out of the inning with a strikeout and a double play.
Wisconsin chipped away at the Burlington lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. Michael Ratterree doubled to start the Wisconsin third, moved to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield , and scored on a Clint Coulter sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, Wisconsin had runners on second and third with two outs. Johnny Davis got the runner home from third with a perfect drag bunt and the Rattlers were within 4-3.
But, the Bees added on their lead in the top of the fifth against reliever Rodolfo Fernandez. Stephen McGee doubled just fair inside the line in right to drive in two runs with two outs and Burlington was up 6-3.
The Rattlers knocked Bees starting pitcher Garrett Nuss out of the game in the bottom of the sixth. McFarland singled and Jose Pena doubled to get runners on second and third with no outs. Burlington reliever Ben Carlson got the next two batters to strikeout. Davis kept the inning going with a line drive single to left that scored McFarland and got Pena to third base. Carlson would get the final out of the sixth to keep the Bees up 6-4.
Steve Halcomb led off the bottom of the seventh with a single off Carlson, but the Rattlers were held scoreless in their final at bat and the Bees took game one.
WP: Garrett Nuss (3-0)
LP: Zach Quintana (0-2)
SAVE: Ben Carlson (2)