GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got one big inning on Wednesday night and it was enough to beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 5-1. Taylor Brennan broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run double in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Barrett Astin allowed one run over six innings and picked up his fourth win of the season.
The teams traded runs in the first inning. Brett Phillips doubled to start the game for Quad Cities (18-20). A sacrifice bunt moved him to third base. Jack Mayfield drove in Phillips with a grounder to short and the Bandits led 1-0. Wisconsin (18-20) responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Chris McFarland reached second base on a throwing error after a infield grounder. Clint Coulter lined a single to left-center to drive in McFarland with the tying run.
The Rattlers broke the tie with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Coulter started the rally with a single. Jose Pena and Michael Ratterree drew consecutive walks to load the bases with no outs. Brennan unloaded the bases with a double down the line in left. All three runners scored and the Rattlers were up 4-1. Angel Ortega drove in Brennan with a two-out double to make the score 5-1 in favor of Wisconsin.
Astin made that lead hold for Wisconsin. The Rattlers starting pitcher struck out seven walked one, and allowed three hits over six innings while not allowing another run after the top of the first inning. His seven strikeouts were the most for him in a game as a professional.
Rodolfo Fernandez took over in the top of the seventh inning and worked three scoreless innings - with help from his defense - for his first save of the season.
Quad Cities had a runner on first and two outs in the top of the seventh and Brett Booth drove a pitch deep to left-center. Omar Garcia made a long run, dove to make an amazing catch, and held on to the ball for the final out as he landed hard on the warning track near the River Bandits bullpen.
The Bandits loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth inning. Fernandez got the last two hitters of the frame with a strikeout and a grounder to second to strand the runners.
Fernandez tossed a routine 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth to close out the game.
Wisconsin took two of three games from the River Bandits and went 4-2 on their six-game homestand.
The Timber Rattlers begin a four-game series at Dozer Park against the Peoria Chiefs in Illinois on Thursday night. Tristan Archer (1-1, 4.30) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Blake McKnight (1-2, 7.23) is set to pitch for the Chiefs. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the action on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the pregame show at 6:10pm.
WP: Barrett Astin (4-2)
LP: Evan Grills (1-1)
SAVE: Rodolfo Fernandez (1)