Big first inning paves the way to victory

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | May 30, 2012 7:00 PM ET

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers shook off Tuesday's 14-inning loss at Peoria with a 10-2 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Wisconsin sent ten men to the plate in the first inning and scored five runs on the way to their sixth win in the first eight games of their thirteen game road trip.

The Timber Rattlers (34-19) wasted no time in grabbing a lead in the game. Max Walla walked and Jason Rogers singled with one out. Nick Ramirez followed with a single to right and Walla scored. Greg Hopkins continued his hot streak with a single to center to score Rogers for a 2-0 lead. Then, Rafael Neda singled to load the bases.

Kernels starting pitcher Austin Wood walked John Dishon to force in a run and he was taken out of the game after that.

Adrian Williams greeted Cedar Rapids reliever Frank DiJiulio with a sharp single to center to score a pair of runs for a 5-0 lead.

The Kernels (23-30) got on the board in the second on a two out RBI single by Wendell Soto.

Wisconsin pushed back with a solo home run from Walla in the fourth inning and a pair of runs in the fifth. Rafael Neda scored on a balk and Dishon drove in Carlos George with a sacrifice fly.

Thompson cruised with the big lead. He allowed one unearned run on five hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out two while setting a professional high for innings pitched in a game.

Dishon drove in his third run of the night with a two-out single to right in the top of the seventh to put the Rattlers up 9-1.

Mark Williams had a rough eighth inning and allowed a two-out RBI single to Abel Baker, but Hopkins more than made up for that run. The Rattlers second baseman led off the ninth with a home run to left that left the stadium. The homer, the seventh of the season for Hopkins, made it 10-2.

The home run was the fourth in the last five games for Hopkins, who is 16-for-35 with 13 RBI in the first eight games of the road trip.

Mark Williams would allow a pair of two out hits in the ninth inning, but he finished off his second save of the season with his fourth strikeout of the game.

Game two of the series in Cedar Rapids is Thursday night. David Goforth (4-3, 5.59) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Kernels have slated Eswarlin Jimenez (1-3, 5.53) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 6:35pm. Tune in for the action on AM1280, WNAM or starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.

Max Walla (2nd, 0 on in 4th inning off Frank DiJiulio, 1 out)
Greg Hopkins (7th, 0 on in 9th inning off Ty Kelley,0 out)

WP: Chad Thompson (2-1)
LP: Austin Wood (2-4)
SAVE: Mark Williams (2)

TIME: 2:57
ATTN: 2,445

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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