GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Burlington Bees scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The Bees held on for a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin Monday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
It was the Rattlers (42-38 overall, 6-5 second half) who jumped to the early lead. Omar Garcia doubled with one out in the bottom of the second. He stole third and scored on a passed ball. Rafael Neda made it 2-0 in favor of the Rattlers with a two-out solo homer later in the inning.
Victor Diaz, Wisconsin's starting pitcher, pitched like that would be enough for him. The right-hander extended his scoreless innings streak to fifteen when he worked a 1-2-3 fifth. But, the streak would not go past fifteen innings.
Angel Rosa and Eric Aguilera singled to start the top of the sixth. Brandon Bayardi followed with a walk and the bases were loaded with no outs. The call went to the bullpen for Trevor Seidenberger to take over for Diaz.
Seidenberger fell behind Stephen McGee 3-0 on the first three pitches he threw in the game. Seidenberger came back with two strikes, but would eventually walk McGee to force in a run.
The Wisconsin lefty struck out Tyler Palmer for the first out, but he threw a wild pitch with Cambric Moye at the plate to let Aguilera score the tying run.
Ranyelmy Mendoza was up with two out and runners at second and third when Seidenberger uncorked another wild pitch to let Bayardi score the go-ahead run. Later in the at bat, Mendoza singled to knock in McGee and the Bees (44-36, 6-5) were up 4-2.
Burlington, the first half wild card in the Western Division, was forced to go to their bullpen in the third inning. Starting pitcher Daniel Hurtado left the game after the second inning. Trevor Foss, Cole Swanson, and Alex Blackford kept the Rattlers off the board for five innings. But, the Rattlers got something going against Blackford in the eighth.
Steve Halcomb and Johnny Davis started the rally with singles and they were bunted into scoring position by Chris McFarland. Michael Ratterree blooped a 3-2 pitch from Blackford down the right field line for what looked to be a game-tying single. But the ball dropped just foul. Then, Blackford struck out Ratterree for the second out of the inning. Blackford would walk Clint Coulter on a 3-2 pitch and that ended his day.
Alan Busenitz, the fifth Burlington pitcher of the game, entered and walked Taylor Brennan on four straight pitches to force in Halcomb and the Rattlers were within one. Busenitz got the final out on a force out at second.
In the bottom of the ninth, Busenitz struck out the first two batters of the inning. Halcomb kept the game going with a single. But, Busenitz ended the game with a ground out to earn his tenth save of the season.
Wisconsin swept Burlington in a four-game series at Community Field to open the second half of the season last weekend. The Bees came to Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium and took three of four games from the Timber Rattlers. The season series is even at eight win for each team. They will meet again August 27 through 29 in Grand Chute.
The Timber Rattlers continue their homestand on Tuesday night. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are in town for the first game of a three-game series. Wisconsin has named Zach Quintana (2-4, 6.02) as their starting pitcher. Cedar Rapids has Aaron Slegers (5-5, 5.75) set to start for them. Game time is 7:05pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a bobblehead of Jim Henderson, a Timber Rattler in 2009 and a member of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen since 2012, courtesy of American National Bank - Fox Cities.
Tuesday's contest is the first game of the three-game Military Appreciation Series. Active, reserve, or retired members of all branches of the military will receive a free reserved bleacher seat ticket to any of the three games in the series with a valid military ID or verification of form DD-214 at the box office. Friends and family members of the military member may purchase a reserved bleacher seat at a discounted price of $7.00 per ticket. Timber Rattlers players and coaches will wear military-themed jerseys and hats during all games in this set with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Hats and jerseys will be available in a silent auction that begins on July 1 and ends in the seventh inning of the game on July 3. Fans may phone in bids for the jerseys on July 2 and July 3 from 9:00am to 2:00pm by calling (800) WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Fox Valley Veterans Council Emergency Fund.
If you can't make it out to the game, there are many ways to catch the action. The television broadcast will be on MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown starting at 7:00pm. The radio call is on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Rafael Neda (2nd, 0 on in 2nd inning off Daniel Hurtado, 2 out)
WP: Cole Swanson (1-1)
LP: Victor Diaz (2-3)
SAVE: Alan Busenitz (10)