GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers built an early 6-0 lead and pulled away with some late runs to beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 10-4 Tuesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Chris McFarland and Michael Ratterree each drove in two runs for the Rattlers while Tyler Alexander and a pair of Wisconsin relievers kept the River Bandits from mounting a comeback.
Johnny Davis started Wisconsin's first inning rally with a single. He stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Clint Coulter knocked in Davis with a single and the Rattlers had the lead. Michael Ratterree lined a two-out triple to right-center to drive in Coulter. Taylor Brennan put a cap on the inning with an RBI single to send Ratterree home for a 3-0 advantage. Opponents had scored first in the first four games of this Wisconsin homestand.
Davis started another rally for the Rattlers (17-20) in the bottom of the second. He reached on a two-out single and stole second. Chris McFarland cracked a double off the wall in center to get Davis home. The double extended McFarland's current hitting streak to ten games.
Ratterree crushed a home run to the beach beyond the wall in right-center with one out in the bottom of the third inning to put the Rattlers up 5-0.
Angel Ortega was at second base with two outs and McFarland at the plate in the fourth. He took off for third base on a pitch to the plate that got away from River Bandits catcher Brett Booth. The ball bounced to the Wisconsin on deck circle and Ortega never slowed as he got to third. Ortega raced for home and scored without a play for a 6-0 lead.
Alexander gave up a pair of singles to start the top of the sixth inning. Then, he retired the next two hitters. It looked like Alexander may get out of the sixth without any damage, but a grounder to first off the bat of Ronnie Mitchell was missed for an error and two runs scored. Tyler White followed with a long home run to left and the Bandits (18-19) were within 6-4.
Harvey Martin came on in relief and - after a double by Booth - got the final out.
Alexander's scoreless innings streak was snapped at ten innings, but he set new single game marks as a professional for innings pitched (5-2/3) and strikeouts (7).
The Wisconsin bats went back to work in the bottom of the sixth to rebuild their lead. Rafael Neda walked to start the inning. Paul Eshleman, who was just activated off the disabled list a few hours before game time, followed with a triple to right-center to score Neda. Ortega singled in Eshleman and the Rattlers were up 8-4.
In the eighth, Davis was a first with two outs. He stole second, his third steal of the game and fourteenth of the season, to get into scoring position. McFarland singled and Davis scored his third run of the game. Coulter sent a towering fly deep to left that was dropped for a two-base error and McFarland scored the final run of the game on that play.
Taylor Williams, who took over on the mound for the Rattlers in the top of the seventh, pitched three scoreless innings and struck out five to record his first professional save.
Wisconsin snapped Quad Cities' six-game winning streak with the win on Tuesday night.
The final game of the series is scheduled for Wednesday night. Barrett Astin (1-1, 4.30) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Evan Grills (1-0, 3.64) is set to start for the River Bandits. Game time is 6:35pm.
The final game of the homestand is a WIXX Bang for Your Buck Night. Enjoy Cher-Make hotdogs, Pepsi products, and Miller beer for $1. Plus, Cars.com will be giving away Bam Bam Stick noisemakers.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, you can still follow the action in several ways. MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown has the television broadcast starting with their pregame show at 6:00pm. The radio broadcast may be heard on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the pregame show at 6:15pm. The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Tyler White (1st, 1 on in 6th inning off Tyler Alexander, 2 out)
Michael Ratterree (5th, 0 on in 3rd inning off Edison Frias, 1 out)
WP: Tyler Alexander (3-3)
LP: Edison Frias (1-2)
SAVE: Taylor Williams (1)