BURLINGTON, IA - The Burlington Bees completed a three-game sweep of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers with a 7-2 win Friday night at Community Field. Wade Kirkland drove in three runs for the Bees and helped to erase an early Rattlers advantage.
The Rattlers (66-71 overall, 28-39 second half) threatened to score first. In the second inning, Nick Ramirez singled and Brandon Macias was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs. But, both runners were stranded at the end of the inning.
Burlington (75-61, 30-36) broke the ice in the bottom of the second inning. Douglas Landaeta doubled to right and went to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield. Kirkland's flyball to center was dropped and Landaeta scored for a 1-0 lead.
TJ Mittelstaedt tied the game with a solo homer to center in the top of the third inning. The homer was the twelfth of the season for Mittelstaedt.
Wisconsin grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth inning with a two out rally. Rafael Neda singled with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. Neda reached third when Greg Hopkins had his grounder to short booted for an error. Neda score the go ahead run after Blake Hassebrock threw wildly to first on a pickoff attempt.
Rattlers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson kept the Bees handcuffed through the first 5-2/3 innings. But, he ran into trouble with two outs and none on in the sixth. AJ Kirby-Jones singled to center. A blooper off the bat of Landaeta dropped in just fair down the line in right to put runners at the corners.
Ryan Pineda worked the count full and laced a doubled to left-center to score two runs and give Burlington a 3-2 lead. Then, Kirkland doubled to left to send Pineda home for a 4-2 lead.
Nelson left the game after the double by Pineda. He worked 5-2/3 innings, allowed four runs on six hits, walked three, and struck out five.
The Rattlers offense could not do much after they took the lead. They managed one hit over the final five innings against Hassebrock and three Burlington relievers.
Burlington put the game away in the bottom of the eighth inning as they put three more runs across the plate. Kirkland drove in his third run of the game with a double. Later in the frame, John Nester plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Yordy Cabrera drove in the final run of the inning with a single.
The loss was the fifth straight for Wisconsin.
The Rattlers begin their final series of the season on Saturday night at Pohlman Field in Beloit, Wisconsin against the Beloit Snappers. Game time is 7:00pm.
Eric Arnett (0-3, 4.70) is scheduled to start for Wisconsin. Beloit sends Michael Tonkin (3-3, 4.41) to the bump.
Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280 WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
TJ Mittelstaedt (12th, 0 on in 3rd inning, off Blake Hassebrock, 1 out)
WP: Drew Tyson (5-4)
LP: Jimmy Nelson (8-9)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.