MILWAUKEE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers stepped on the big stage Wednesday night and they did not disappoint. Wisconsin beat the Peoria Chiefs 5-1 at Miller Park to snap a four game losing streak. Starting pitcher Brooks Hall had another solid start for Wisconsin. Greg Hopkins homered and drove in four runs to give Hall more than enough offense.
Wisconsin (40-36 overall, 2-3 second half) struck right away. Hopkins stepped to the plate with two on and one out in the bottom of the first inning. He lined a 1-2 pitch from Peoria starter Austin Kirk over the left field wall for a three-run homer.
Rattlers starter Brooks Hall allowed a one out triple in the top of the first inning. Then, he retired the next eight batters he faced.
Rubi Silva, who had the triple in the first, broke Hall's streak with a bunt single in the fourth. Greg Rohan's ground rule double put runners at second and third. Hall allowed only Silva to score - on a sacrifice fly by Micah Gibbs - and Peoria (35-41, 2-3) cut the Rattlers lead to 3-1.
Hall gave up a one out single to Matt Sczcur in the top of the sixth. Then, Silva lined a pitch right back at Hall. The ball hit the Rattlers pitcher on the right side and trickled away from him to the third base side of the mound. Hall gathered himself, picked up the ball, and fired to first to just nip the speedy Silva.
After being checked out by the staff, Hall stayed in the game and had to pounce on a slow roller up the third base line off the bat of the next Rohan. Hall made the play for the second out of the inning. Brian Garman relieved and got the final out of the inning.
Hall worked 5-2/3 innings, allowed one run on four hits, and struck out one to put himself in line for his fourth win of the season.
The game remained 3-1 until Hopkins came to the plate with a runner in scoring position in the seventh. Nick Shaw drew a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, and took third on grounder to the right side by Mike Walker. Hopkins lined a two-strike pitch from Yohan Gonzalez to left to send Shaw home for a 4-1 lead.
Later in the inning, Cody Hawn doubled to drive in Hopkins and the Rattlers were up 5-1.
Garman would turn the ball over to Eric Marzec for the top of the eighth inning. Marzec did the job by pitching a pair of scoreless innings to close down the win that ended Wisconsin's four game losing streak.
The Timber Rattlers begin a six-game road trip on Thursday in Cedar Rapids against the Kernels. Jimmy Nelson (2-7, 5.14) is scheduled to start for Wisconsin. Cedar Rapids has Justin La Tempa (2-4, 4.77) as their scheduled starter.
Game time is 6:35pm from Perfect Game Field. Tune in for the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm on AM1280 or timberrattlers.com.
Greg Hopkins (3rd, 2 on in 1st inning, off Austin Kirk, 1 out)
WP: Brooks Hall (4-1)
LP: Austin Kirk (4-5)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.