GRAND CHUTE, WI - Rafael Neda's RBI single in the bottom of the twelfth inning sent the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to a 1-0 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels Tuesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin's pitching tandem of Zach Quintana and Tristan Archer combined to shutout the Kernels on four hits and combined for eleven strikeouts.
Both starting pitchers were in fine form. Quintana struck out five and allowed two hits through six scoreless innings. Cedar Rapids starter Aaron Slegers gave up just two hits over five innings.
Rain halted play after Quintana got JD Williams to fly out to right field to end the top of the sixth. The grounds crew put the tarp on the field in a steadily increasing downpour. The game restarted after a rain delay of one hour and nineteen minutes.
The pitching performances did not drop off in quality after the restart. Brandon Bixler and Dallas Gallant each tossed two scoreless innings out of the Cedar Rapids bullpen. Archer didn't allow a hit through his first five innings of work.
Wisconsin (43-38 overall, 7-5 second half) had the first real scoring opportunity of extra innings. Johnny Davis reached on a bunt single against Jared Wilson in the bottom of the eleventh. Chris McFarland sacrificed Davis to second. Michael Ratterree drew a walk on four pitches. But, Wilson escaped the inning by getting Clint Coulter and Taylor Brennan to fly out to right field.
The Kernels (34-47, 3-8) had a good opportunity in the top of the twelfth inning against Archer. Bryan Haar singled, the first hit off Archer, to start the inning. Williams flew out to center after being unable to bunt Haar into scoring position. Jason Kanzler lined a ball off Archer's glove for an infield single to give the Kernels runners on first and second with one out. Jonathan Murphy lined the next pitch to Steve Halcomb at first base. Halcomb doubled Kanzler off first base for an unassisted double play to get the game to the bottom of the twelfth in a scoreless tie.
Halcomb started the bottom of the twelfth by drawing a walk against Wilson, who was starting his third inning of relief. Omar Garcia fouled off a bunt attempt on the first pitch. He swung and fouled off a pitch on a hit-and-run. Then, he was asked to get down the bunt with two strikes and he did. The sacrifice moved Halcomb into scoring position.
Neda, who had been hit by pitches twice, walked once, and singled in his four previous plate appearances, lined the first pitch of his at bat in the twelfth to left. Halcomb beat the throw from Murphy with a headfirst dive to avoid the tag and the Rattlers celebrated their fifth walkoff win of the season.
The victory snapped a brief two game losing streak for the Timber Rattlers.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night. Barrett Astin (5-3, 4.40) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Lewis Thorpe (1-1, 6.50) is set to start for the Kernels. Game time is 7:05pm.
The Military Appreciation Series continues on a WIXX Bang for Your Buck Night. Boxkar will perform a concert outside the stadium before the game begins. Then, head inside to enjoy Cher-Make hotdogs, Pepsi products, and Miller beer for $1.
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 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 ballpark, there are many ways to catch the action. The television broadcast will be available on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel starting at 7:00pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game is also available to MiLB.TV subscribers.
WP: Tristan Archer (3-3)
LP: Jared Wilson (2-2)
TIME: 3:24 (1:19 delay)