BELOIT, WI - The Beloit Snappers scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 3-2 Thursday night at Pohlman Field. The Snappers came back to spoil a terrific pitching performance by Wisconsin's Victor Diaz.
The starting pitchers dominated through the first six innings. Beloit starter Dylan Covey allowed two hits and no runs to extend his scoreless innings streak to 13-1/3 innings. Diaz matched Covey zero for zero. The Wisconsin right-hander went six innings, allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out a pair to keep the game scoreless. Diaz extended his scoreless innings streak to 15-1/3 innings with his six shutout frames on Thursday.
The Rattlers (21-25) broke through against Covey in the top of the seventh. Angel Ortega singled and Michael Ratterree was hit by a pitch to start the inning. David Denson singled to center and Ortega scored on the play. Ratterree took third on the play, but Denson was thrown out at second base for the first out. Rafael Neda drove in Ratterree with a two-out double to left and the Rattlers were up 2-0.
Beloit (21-25) got the game back to even against Wisconsin reliever Anthony Banda in the bottom of the seventh. BA Vollmuth singled to start the inning. Luis Baez followed with a double to drive in Vollmuth. Sam Roberts bunted to move Baez to third and reached when the play to third was late. Phil Pohl tied the game with a safety squeeze bunt up the first base line to get Baez home. Beloit loaded the bases against Banda later in the inning, but did not take the lead in the seventh.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth. Banda, who struck out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth, walked Roberts to start the Beloit rally. A sacrifice bunt moved Roberts to second and a wild pitch got Roberts to third with the winning run.
Wisconsin tried a five infielder alignment at this point of the game. Francisco Castillo was sent into the game to replace left fielder Omar Garcia. Castillo was stationed just to the left of second base as the fifth infielder with the entire infield drawn in to try and cut down the run at the plate.
Melvin Mercedes foiled the strategy by pulling a hard grounder fair inside the bag at third for a clean single to score Roberts with the winning run.
The Timber Rattlers have been involved in sixteen one-run games this season. They are 4-12 in one runs games during 2014.
Game two of the series is Friday night at Pohlman Field. Preston Gainey (1-2, 2.75) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Bobby Wahl (0-3, 6.38) is set to start for the Snappers. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
WP: Tyler Vail (1-0)
LP: Anthony Banda (1-5)