GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Dayton Dragons defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9-3 on Saturday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Dragons had ten hits as they pulled away from the Rattlers with two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Dayton (50-46 overall, 14-14 second half) took the lead in the first inning. Jamodrick McGruder singled to start the game against Wisconsin starter Tristan Archer. Robert Ramirez hit a two-run homer that just stayed fair down the right field line with one out and the Dragons were up 2-0.
Wisconsin (50-47, 14-14) scored a run without a hit in the bottom of the first. Chris McFarland reached on an error. Clint Coulter was hit by a pitch and David Denson drew a walk to loaded the bases. Taylor Brennan drew a second walk in the inning to force in McFarland and cut Dayton's lead to a single run.
Phillip Ervin tripled to start the top of the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Gabriel Rosa scored Ervin and gave the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
Michael Ratterree pulled the Timber Rattlers back to within a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ratterree launched a solo home run to left with two outs to make the score 3-2. The homer was the sixteenth of the season for Ratterree.
Defensive lapses cost Wisconsin in the top of the sixth inning and the Dragons scored a pair of unearned runs off reliever Luke Curtis. Ramirez drew a one out walk and went to second when a pickoff throw to first was not caught. Then, Ervin sent a routine grounder to short that was missed for an error that put runners on the corners. Avain Rachal drove in Ramirez with another sacrifice fly. Joe Hudson followed with a triple to right-center to knock in Erin for a 5-2 lead.
Dayton put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh against Zach Quintana as they sent ten men to the plate and scored four runs. Carlton Daal tripled with one out. McGruder singled to left for a 6-2 lead. A walk, a wild pitch, and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Ervin drew another walk to force in a run. Rachal had another sacrifice fly and Hudson drove in a run with a single to make it 9-2. Quintana walked Rosa to reload the bases and was relieved by Chris Razo, who got the final out of the seventh.
Razo would toss a scoreless eighth and a scoreless ninth inning, too.
Wisconsin loaded the bases for one more attempted rally in the bottom of the ninth. David Denson reached on an error, Brennan walked, and Rafael Neda singled with one out against Pedro Diaz, the third Dayton pitcher of the night. Angel Ortega singled to left to knock in Denson to pull the Rattlers to within 9-3. Nolan Becker took over for the Dragons and struck out the next two batters to finish the game.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. Clint Terry (2-2, 3.25) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Jackson Stephens (2-1, 3.98) is set to start for the Dragons. Game time is 1:05pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a bobblehead of Milwaukee Brewers All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from U.S. Cellular. It's a You Run the Show game, too. Check in with the Rattlers and U.S. Cellular on how you can play along to win a Carlos Gomez Timber Rattlers Bobblehead.
Fans can play catch on-field courtesy of Rasmussen College before the game. Bernie Brewer, the mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers, will be on hand to meet and greet fans as part of a 107.5, The Fan Brewers Sunday. Timber Rattlers players and coaches will be wearing gold Rattlers jerseys based on the design of the Milwaukee Brewers and all Timber Rattlers players will be available for a postgame autograph session.
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 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available to MiLB.TV subscribers.
Robert Ramirez (1st, 1 on in 1st inning off Tristan Archer, 1 out)
Michael Ratterree (16th, 0 on in 5th inning off Nick Travieso, 1 out)
WP: Nick Travieso (8-5)
LP: Tristan Archer (3-5)