GRAND CHUTE, WI - Yadiel Rivera and Chadwin Stang hit consecutive solo home runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie with the Burlington Bees on Thursday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field at Fix Cities Stadium. Pitchers Eric Semmelhack, Maverick Lasker, and Kevin Shackelford made sure that was enough. The trio of Wisconsin hurlers held that 3-1 lead to the end of the game as Wisconsin defeated Burlington.
Rashun Dixon gave the Bees (53-55 overall, 21-18 second half) a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. He hit a leadoff home run off Eric Semmelhack. The homer was the second of the series and ninth of the season for Dixon. That was the only run for the Bees. Semmelhack would work around three hits and three walks over five innings and - thanks to just enough offense - he would pick up the win.
Wisconsin (64-44, 20-19) answered in the Dixon home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mike Garza drove in Max Walla with a two-out single to tie the game.
The Rattlers continued their recent power surge to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Rivera cracked a one out solo home run to the Burlington bullpen beyond the wall in left-center for a 2-1 lead. Stang was next and he crushed a 1-2 pitch over the batter's eye in center. The back-to-back homers put the Rattlers up 3-1. Wisconsin had homered 28 times in 28 games in the month of July and the two homers on Wednesday gave them 30 home runs in their last 30 games.
Stang, who also doubled later in the game, pushed his hitting streak to 17 games with his two hits on Thursday. The 17-game hitting streak is tied for the second longest in the Midwest League this season. The Rattlers centerfielder is 26-for-73 (.356) during the streak.
Lasker took over for Semmelhack and tossed three scoreless innings. Kevin Shackelford tossed a scoreless ninth for his fourth save of the season.
The final game of the four game series is Friday night. Jacob Barnes (4-3, 3.24) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Julio Ramos (0-0, 0.75) is set to start for the Bees. Game time is 7:05pm.
Fang T. Rattler, the mascot of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers turns 18 this year and the Rattlers are throwing him a big party on Friday night. Numerous mascots from local businesses and sports teams will join the festivities. The annual mascot kickball game begins at 6:00pm on field. All of the mascots will help with promotions and interact with fans during the game. Just watch out for Gnaf T. Rattler, the evil twin of Fang. It is also Gnaf's birthday, but he is a little jealous of the attention that Fang is receiving on his big day.
There is a CANS 4 CAKE Food Drive with donations to benefit St. Joe's Food Program, too. Bring in a non-perishable food item as a donation and receive a slice of Fang's birthday cake.
It's also a North Shore Bank Family Night and children 12 and under eat free. Settle in after the game to watch a spectacular fireworks display. Children 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases presented by Jernegan's Health Mart after the fireworks.
If you can't make it to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show starting at 6:45pm. Friday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
Rashun Dixon (9th, 0 on in 4th inning off Eric Semmelhack, 0 out)
Yadiel Rivera (11th, 0 on in 5th inning off AJ Cole, 1 out)
Chadwin Stang (6th, 0 on in 5th inning off AJ Cole, 1 out)
WP: Eric Semmelhack (1-0)
LP: AJ Cole (5-3)
SAVE: Kevin Shackelford (4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.