GRAND CHUTE, WI - For the second time in less than a week, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers took a 1-0 lead to the ninth inning only to lose in extra innings. The latest heartbreaker came on Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Rattlers 3-1 in ten innings. Wisconsin starting pitcher Matt Miller tossed six scoreless innings, but was not involved in the decision.
The Rattlers (11-10) scored a run in the bottom of the second. Greg Hopkins, who hit the game winning home run on Wednesday night, singled to start the second on Thursday. The Rattlers third baseman stole second to get into scoring position. Brandon Macias drove in Hopkins with a single to left for the 1-0 lead.
Miller, who has his turn skipped in the rotation the last time it came up, pitched very well. The tall righty allowed three hits and struck out four over his six scoreless frames before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Stephen Peterson relieved Miller and pitched two scoreless innings. But, Seth Harvey had a couple of breaks go against him in the top of the ninth.
Harvey just missed on a close 2-2 pitch to Ryan Wright, the Dragons leadoff batter in the ninth. Wright fouled a few two strike pitches off before he singled to get aboard as the tying run. Wright stole second as Harvey struck out Sean Buckley for out number one and took third when Juan Silva grounded out to first for the second out.
Danny Vicioso was next and Harvey made a good pitch to jam the Dayton first baseman. But, Vicioso's blooper dropped in shallow right just out of the reach of Rattlers first baseman Jason Rogers and Wright scored the tying run.
The Rattlers went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth and the Dragons (11-10) picked up in the tenth right where they left off in the ninth.
Kevin Shackelford got Junior Arias to send a slow grounder to short, but the speedy Arias beat the throw to first. A sacrifice bunt moved the go ahead run into scoring position. Jefry Sierra trickled a single through the infield and into short right to score Arias with the run that made it 2-1 Dayton.
An error let Juan Perez reach base. Then, Wright singled in Sierra for a 3-1 lead. Dayton loaded the bases in the inning and appeared to score another run on a sacrifice fly, but Perez was ruled out when the Rattlers successfully appealed that he had left third base too earlty.
Kyle McMyne, who shut the Rattlers down the ninth, pitched a 1-2-3 tenth to secure the win for the Dragons.
On Sunday, the Rattlers led South Bend 1-0 going to the bottom of the ninth inning on the road only to see the Silver Hawks tie the game in the ninth and win 2-1 in ten innings.
The Timber Rattlers and Dragons play game three of the series Friday night at Miller Park, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Brewers prospect Drew Gagnon (1-0, 0.89) is the scheduled starter for the Timber Rattlers. Game time is 7:05pm.
If you can't make it to Miller Park, there are plenty of ways to catch the game. Tune in on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com for the radio call starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Time Warner Cable subscribers can tune in to the telecast on Sports32.
One other opportunity to catch the game will be on MiLB.com, which will be streaming the game as the Free Game of the Day.
WP: Kyle McMyne (2-0),br>
LP: Kevin Shackelford (1-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.