GRAND CHUTE, WI - Burlington Bees batters Eric Aguilera and Brandon Bayardi bopped consecutive home runs in the top of the fifth inning to break a 2-2 Sunday at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Bees held on to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-3.
Both teams had chances in the first two innings, but neither could score. Each team got a leadoff double in the first inning. Bayardi drew a leadoff walk in the Burlington second, but was left stranded at second base. The Timber Rattlers (42-37 overall, 6-4 second half) loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but could not score.
Burlington (43-36, 5-5) broke the ice first with two runs in the top of the third inning. Erick Salcedo singled and Kody Eaves walked to start the inning. Angel Rosa doubled to left-center and Salcedo scored while Eaves moved to third base. Mike Fish knocked in Eaves with a grounder to short and the Bees were up 2-0.
The Rattlers answered in the bottom of the third. Chris McFarland and Omar Garcia both singled to start the inning. Ratterree doubled to drive in McFarland and send Garcia to third base. Clint Coulter drew a walk to load the bases. Taylor Brennan grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to score Garcia and tie the game 2-2.
Aguilera hit the first pitch of the fifth inning deep to right-center for his tenth home run of the season. Then, Bayardi hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center for back-to-back homers and a 4-2 lead.
Wisconsin pulled to within a run in the bottom of the eighth. Michael Ratterree hit a solo homer with one out. The homer was the thirteenth of the season and ties him with Clint Coulter for the team lead in that category. Ratterree finished the day 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a walk in four trips to the plate.
The Bees tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Bayardi.
Ben Carlson retired the Rattlers in order in the bottom of the ninth to close out the win for the Bees.
The series finale is Monday afternoon. Victor Diaz (2-2, 3.43) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Daniel Hurtado (1-0, 1.54) is set to start for the Bees. Game time is 12:05pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a poster of 2014 Midwest League All-Star Clint Coulter from Dunkin Donuts. This is poster number six in a series of ten that are being given away this season.
You can earn a free ticket to this game - or any other Monday home game remaining in the regular season - by purchasing a lunch entrée at either Qdoba location in Appleton (3813 E. Calumet Street or 4343 W. Wisconsin Avenue).
This is also a day for a Baker Tilly Business Person Special. Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $13.50 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage, and your choice of brat or hot dog. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older) courtesy of WVBO and AM1280 WNAM.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:45am. Monday's game is also available for subscribers to MiLB.TV.
Eric Aguilera (10th, 0 on in 5th inning off Preston Gainey, 0 out)
Brandon Bayardi (2nd, 0 on in 5th inning off Preston Gainey, 0 out)
Michael Ratterree (13th, 0 on in 8th inning off Brian Loconsole, 1 out)
WP: Harrison Cooney (6-3)
LP: Preston Gainey (2-5)
SAVE: Ben Carlson (6)