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Rattlers beat Kernels for third straight win05/10/2011 10:43 PM ET
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-1. Chris Dennis delivered a two-out, two-run triple in the decisive inning and break the tie on Tuesday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Eric Marzec provided three innings of scoreless relief to help the Rattlers claim their third straight win.
Ricky Alvarez gave the Kernels (20-12) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. He lifted a leadoff home run to left field off Rattlers starter Del Howell.
Wisconsin (14-15) tied the game with an unearned run in the bottom of the second. Greg Hopkins reached second on an throwing error with one out. Franklin Romero lined a single to center to drive in Hopkins with the tying run. Romero extended his hitting streak to eleven games with that RBI single.
The game remained tied until the eighth inning.
Cedar Rapids starting pitcher AJ Schugel was an emergency starter for the Kernels when scheduled starter Suammy Baez could not make his start. Schugel, who had made eight relief appearances without a start for the Kernels prior Monday, allowed one unearned run over five innings before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Howell pitched into the seventh inning and scattered five hits without allowing another run after the homer by Alvarez. Howell was replaced by Marzec after a leadoff walk to Brandon Decker in the seventh.
Marzec struck out Alvarez for the first out. Then - with Decker running - Marzec struck out Jesus Campos looking and Rattlers catcher Tyler Robers threw out Decker at second for an inning ending double play.
Wisconsin had the go ahead run in scoring position with one out in the sixth and seventh innings, but could not score. So, they took a different approach in the eighth.
Nick Shaw singled with one out and tried to steal with Reggie Keen at the plate. However, Keen was called out for interference and Shaw was sent back to first base. Cody Hawn singled to left to send Shaw around to third base.
Dennis lined a 1-0 pitch from Caleb Graham, the third Cedar Rapids pitcher of the night, to left-center for a triple to drive in both Shaw and Hawn for a 3-1 lead. Walker singled Dennis home moments later to give the Rattlers a 4-1 lead.
Marzec went back out for the ninth. He pitched around a one out walk with back-to-back strikeouts to close out the Kernels.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Jimmy Nelson (0-2, 4.01) is the scheduled starter for the Timber Rattlers. Justin La Tempa (1-0, 2.55) is set to go for the Kernels. Game time is 6:35pm.
Wednesday is a Bonus Bang For Your Buck Night with soda, hot dogs, and Miller products available for $1. Wednesday is also an American TV Win-It Wednesday. Every fan aged 16 and older will receive a scratch-off ticket. Every ticket is a winner with prizes from the Timber Rattlers and American TV of Appleton.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.
WP: Eric Marzec (1-0)