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Rattlers can't rally back on Saturday06/25/2011 11:22 PM ET
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
GRAND CHUTE, WI - On Friday night, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 3-2 Quad Cities River Bandits lead for a 4-3 victory. The Rattlers couldn't summon ninth inning heroics two nights in a row as they fell to the Bandits 3-2 on Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Quad Cities starting pitcher Seth Blair picked up the win with an interesting five inning performance.
Quad Cities (41-30 overall, 1-1 second half) scored a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Ronny Gil drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch. An RBI grounder by Chris Edmondson sent Gil home with the first run. Jonathan Rodriguez homered later in the inning for a 2-0 lead.
The Bandits extended their lead in the fourth. Geoff Klein doubled and a Victor Sanchez single sent him to third base. Michael Swinson grounded into a force play at second that allowed Klein to score for a 3-0 lead.
Wisconsin (39-33, 1-1) got on the board against Blair in the bottom of the fourth inning without a hit. Mike Walker and Chris Dennis walked to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt from Chad Stang moved both runners up a base. Tony Pechek's RBI grounder sent Walker home.
Fans observed a fascinating outing by Blair. The Bandits starting pitcher didn't allow a hit in five innings. He struck out eight, walked seven, and was over 90 pitches when he turned the game over to the Quad Cities bullpen for the bottom of the sixth.
Walker broke up the no-hit bid immediately in the sixth. He singled to left off Bandits reliever Angel De Jesus. However, Walker was caught trying to steal second with Dennis at the plate. On the very next pitch, Dennis unloaded on the offering from De Jesus and sent his eighth home run of the season over the Miller High Life Home Run Porch in right.
The Rattlers got the tying run to second later in the sixth and also in the seventh inning against De Jesus. But, Wisconsin could not push the tying run across the plate.
Dean Kiekhefer retired the Rattlers in order in the eighth and ninth innings to record his first save of the season.
The final game of the series is Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Del Howell (1-3, 3.82) is the scheduled starter for the Timber Rattlers. The River Bandits have Trevor Rosenthal (3-7, 3.63) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Game time is 1:05pm.
On Sunday, the first 1,000 children aged 12 and under will receive a Webkinz from the Fox Valley Humane Association. Before the game, fans may play catch on the field presented by momslikeme.com. During the game, the Timber Rattlers players will be wearing jerseys and caps based on those of the 1975 Milwaukee Brewers. After the game, players will be available for a post-game autograph session.
Also on Sunday, Time Warner Cable subscribers may bring in their bill and receive up to four half priced reserve seat tickets on Sunday.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm.
WP: Seth Blair (4-3)