GRAND CHUTE, WI - Clint Coulter and Chris McFarland stayed hot for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, but it wasn't enough on Friday night against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Kernels banged out eighteen hits in a 10-5 victory over the Rattlers at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Cedar Rapids (19-15) had four hits off Wisconsin starter Zach Quintana in the first inning, but managed just one run. Bryan Haar's infield single with the bases loaded scored the Kernels run.
Wisconsin (15-19) answered immediately in the bottom of the first inning. Johnny Davis dragged a bunt single to start the frame. An errant pickoff throw let Davis move to second. McFarland sent a single to left and Davis scored on the play to tie the game. McFarland's single extended his current hitting streak to seven games.
The Kernels took advantage of a pair of Wisconsin errors in the top of the third inning to score three runs. Engelb Vielma reached on an infield single and a throwing error moved him to second base at the start of the inning. Mitch Garver drew a one out walk after Vielma had moved on to third base. Vielma would score on a sacrifice fly by Zack Larson. Bryan Haar's single to left was misplayed and allowed Garver to come around to score another run. Haar wound up on third base and he scored on Jason Kanzler's single to give the Kernels a 4-1 lead.
The Rattlers got a run back in the bottom of the third. McFarland doubled with one out. Coulter's sharp single to left sent McFarland to third. David Denson chopped a single through the right side of the infield to get McFarland home and the Rattlers were down 4-2.
Tristan Archer came on to pitch for Wisconsin at the beginning of the top of the fourth. The Kernels had runners at first and second with two outs. Then, Garver doubled to left to drive in both runners and the Kernels were up 6-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Coulter blasted his eighth home run of the season. His leadoff, line drive homer was just to the right of the batter's eye in center and landed in the Wisconsin bullpen. Coulter has a home run in his last three games and he leads the Midwest League in homers.
But, Cedar Rapids got that run back in the top of the sixth. Garver doubled to left to drive in Vielma who had singled to start the inning.
Wisconsin used the home run to pull back within two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Omar Garcia singled with one out and stole second base. Angel Ortega crushed the next pitch to left for his second homer of the season. The Rattlers, who lead the league in homers as a team with 30, were down 7-5.
The Kernels tacked on three runs in the top of the eighth inning to reach double digits in runs. Vielma tripled to left, his fourth hit of the night, to start the inning. Chad Christensen singled over the drawn-in infield and Vielma scored his fourth run of the game. Harvey Martin took over for Tristan Archer after the single by Christensen and allowed a single and issued a walk to force in a run. Kanzler drove in his second run of the game with another single and the Kernels were up 10-5.
Slegers struck out seven over 5-2/3 innings while walking one to earn his fourth win of the season. Reliever Todd Van Steensel recorded six strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings. Christian Powell, the third Cedar Rapids pitcher of the night, issued three walks in the ninth, but ended the game with a strikeout, the fourteenth of the night for the Kernels.
The final game of the series Saturday afternoon. Victor Diaz (0-1, 5.14) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Cedar Rapids will send Ryan Eades (3-3, 2.87) to the mound. Game time is 1:05pm.
The Timber Rattlers host their sixth annual Bark in the Park event on Saturday afternoon. The left field berm will be set aside for pets and pet owners to enjoy the game. Tickets are $6 for humans and free for dogs. The first 150 pets to attend the game will receive a bag of gourmet pet food from Fromm Foods. There will also be a pet food drive to benefit the Pet Pantry of Wisconsin. Click this link for more details.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the pregame show at 12:45pm. Saturday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Clint Coulter (8th, 0 on in 5th inning off Aaron Slegers, 0 out)
Angel Ortega (2nd, 1 on in 6th inning off Aaron Slegers, 1 out)
WP: Aaron Slegers (4-0)
LP: Zach Quintana (0-3)