GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and defeated the Beloit Snappers 6-2 on Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Steve Halcomb drove in a pair of runs and Zach Quintana threw 3-1/3 scoreless innings of relief to help the Rattlers stay in the playoff race.
The Rattlers (33-32) scored first. Halcomb knocked in Clint Coulter with a grounder to short in the bottom of the second. Halcomb scored from third base in the bottom of the fifth when Johnny Davis beat out a potential inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. That gave Wisconsin a 2-0 lead.
Beloit (27-39) rallied to tie the game with two outs in the top of the sixth. Wisconsin starting pitcher Tristan Archer had allowed two hits in his first 5-2/3 innings. Boog Powell doubled with two outs and none on in the sixth. Melvin Mercedes followed with an RBI single. Jaycob Brugman tied the game with a double to left that scored Mercedes. That double knocked Archer out of the game.
Quintana entered for Archer and struck out Tyler Marincov for the final out of the sixth.
The Rattlers broke the tie in the bottom the sixth. Michael Ratterree doubled to start the inning. A wild pitch moved him to third. Taylor Brennan lined a base hit over the drawn-in infield to score Ratterree for a 3-2 lead. Jose Pena would double to put Brennan on third base. Halcomb made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Brennan.
Rafael Neda kept the inning going with a two-out single to send Pena to third base. Beloit starting pitcher Lou Trivino looked like he would get out of the inning on a routine fly to center off the bat of Angel Ortega, but Powell lost the ball off the bat. BJ Boyd raced over from left and made a diving attempt, but he came up short. The ball dropped in for a double that scored both Pena and Neda for a 6-2 score.
Ortega now has a ten-game hitting streak after that double.
Beloit had runners at first and second with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Quintana got Boyd to send a grounder to second. Wisconsin got the force play at second, but Boyd beat out the play at first. However, Chih-Fang Pan, the runner at second, kept running around third for the plate and was thrown out easily for the final out of the frame.
The Rattlers turned their third double play of the game with an inning-ending twin killing in the top of the eighth.
Quintana tossed a scoreless ninth to nail down his first win of the season and Wisconsin's eighth win in their last eight games.
In the First Half Western Division Wild Card chase, Burlington held on to beat Clinton 8-6; Quad Cities came up short 5-4 at Cedar Rapids; and Peoria split a doubleheader with Kane County with a 2-1 win and a 4-3 loss.
Burlington is alone in first in the wild card standings with a 35-30 record. Quad Cities and Peoria are both 34-31. The Rattlers are 33-32. Clinton was eliminated from the first half playoff race with their loss on Wednesday.
The final game of the homestand is set for Thursday night at 7:05pm. Preston Gainey (1-3, 3.38) is the starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Beloit will send Kyle Finnegan (5-3, 2.39) to the mound.
The one and only Salute to Cows is back on Thursday night and it is bigger and better than ever! Help the Timber Rattlers and Milk Source celebrate Dairy Month in America's Dairyland! The first 1,000 fans to attend the game will receive a Timber Rattlers batting helmet with a cow-patterned design. Timber Rattlers players and coaches will be wearing jerseys with a cow-pattern, too. Take one of these incredible jerseys home by making the winning bid in the silent auction that will be held during the game.
Enjoy a 22-ounce soda, a 16-ounce beer, or an Arty's Old Fashioned drink for just $2 as part of Thirsty Thursday presented by Arty's Old Fashioned and 95.9 KISS FM.
If you can't make it out to the game, there are several ways to catch the action. MyNEW32's Sports Showdown will have the television broadcast starting at 7:00pm. The radio broadcast is available on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Thursday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
WP: Zach Quintana (1-4)
LP: Lou Trivino (4-5)