GRAND CHUTE, WI - Taylor Brennan is making a habit of walkoff hits. The Rattlers third baseman, who had the walkoff hit in game one of Wednesday's doubleheader, capped Wisconsin's 3-2 comeback victory with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh in game two of Thursday's doubleheader at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The victory was #216 for Matt Erickson as the manager of the Timber Rattlers. He now holds the franchise record for career wins by a manager.
Burlington (15-10) would not make it easy. They scored first for the fourth time in the four game series. Kody Evans doubled with one out in the top of the third inning. Then, Mark Shannon cracked a home run to the beach beyond the wall in right-center field to give the Bees a 2-0 lead.
Wisconsin starter Preston Gainey pitched five innings and struck out five, but was on the hook for the loss as the Rattlers offense struggled to get anything going against Burlington starter Victor Alcantara.
Alcantara allowed two hits and pitched around three walks over five innings and left the game with his team up 2-0 and looking for a doubleheader sweep after winning game one 6-4.
Wisconsin (12-14) roughly greeted reliever Eswarlin Jimenez in the bottom of the sixth inning. Clint Coulter started the frame by crushing a 2-0 pitch from Jimenez over the wall in left. Coulter's fifth home run of the season made the score 2-1.
Brennan followed with a deep fly to right-center field and he cruised into third base with a triple. Chris McFarland drove in Brennan with the tying run on a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
Harvey Martin, who pitched the top of the sixth inning in relief of Gainey, worked a scoreless top of the seventh with a pair of strikeouts and Coulter throwing out a base runner trying to steal second.
Michael Ratterree started the game winning rally in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out single. Jimenez missed with his first three pitches to Coulter. Then, he threw wildly to first base in an attempt to pickoff Ratterree to let the Rattler runner to race around to third base. Jimenez decided to intentionally walk Coulter.
That brought Brennan to the plate. The Bees brought their infield and outfield in to try and get the run at the plate, but Brennan foiled that strategy by lifting a deep fly to right-center that fell for a game winning single to drive in Ratterree.
The Timber Rattlers and Bees split the four game series that was hampered by rainouts on Monday and Tuesday and forced doubleheaders to be played on Wednesday and Thursday.
Erickson, who is in his fourth season as the manager of Midwest League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, entered the doubleheader tied with Gary Thurman on the managerial career wins list. Both had won 215 regular season games. Erickson is now alone at the top with 216 regular season victories.
The Timber Rattlers will welcome the Clinton LumberKings to town to begin a three-game homestand on Friday night. Tyler Alexander (1-2, 4.98) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Clinton will counter with Lars Huijer (0-1, 4.42) as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers pitcher Preston Gainey courtesy of Dunkin Donuts. It's also a North Shore Bank Family night. Children 12 and under receive a free hot dog and soda. Plus, kids 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases thanks to Molina Healthcare after the game.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are many ways to catch the action. MyNEW32's Sports Showdown has the television broadcast beginning with their pregame show at 6:00pm. The radio broadcast can be heard on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the pregame show at 6:15pm. Friday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Mark Shannon (3rd, 1 on in 3rd inning off Preston Gainey, 1 out)
Clint Coulter (5th, 0 on in 6th inning off Eswarlin Jimenez, 0 out)
WP: Harvey Martin (2-1)
LP: Eswarlin Jimenez (1-2)