DAYTON, OH - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored three times in the first inning and once in the second inning Sunday at Fifth Third Field at Dayton. That was more than enough for pitchers Brooks Hall, Eric Marzec, and Greg Holle. Wisconsin picked up a 4-1 win over the Dayton Dragons, ended a long road trip with a victory, and tightened the first half Western Division playoff picture.
For the second game in a row, the Rattlers (30-27) jumped out in front in the first inning. The first three Wisconsin hitters reached to load the bases. Greg Hopkins followed with a two-run single. Cody Hawn grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to get another run home for a 3-0 lead.
A two-out RBI double by Nick Shaw in the top of the second inning gave the Rattlers a 4-0 lead.
Hall kept the Dragons off the scoreboard through four innings. But, a one out walk to Chris Berset in the fifth was followed by an RBI double off the bat of Devin Lohman to pull the Dragons (28-29) to within 4-1.
Hall responded by striking out Theo Bowe and making a nifty play on a hard hit grounder by Jefry Sierra to get out of the fifth with no more damage. Hall retired Dayton in order in the sixth to end his day. He went six innings, allowed one run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Marzec worked two scoreless innings to get the game to the ninth inning for closer Holle.
Holle retired the first two batters he faced in the inning. But, Frank Pfister dropped in a broken bat single to center and Chris Breset's routine grounder to first took a bad bounce over the head of first baseman Cody Hawn. Holle regrouped and got Lohman, the tying run at the plate, to ground out to short to end the game.
Wisconsin ended their road trip with a 5-8 record. But, they won three of the final four games on the trip.
The Rattlers moved to within a game of Quad Cities for the First Half Western Division Wild Card with 13 games remaining. Wisconsin is currently tied with Peoria at 30-27 for third place in the West. Quad Cities is 31-27. Both Peoria and Quad Cities lost on Sunday to allow the Rattlers to move a little closer in the playoff chase.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Monday before starting a six-game homestand on Tuesday night. The Lake County Captains, the Midwest League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and the defending Midwest League champions, will make their first ever appearance at Time Warner Cable Field on Tuesday.
Jimmy Nelson (1-5, 5.68) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Mike Goodnight (4-3, 2.37) is set to start for the Captains. Game time is 7:05pm.
Tuesday is the start of the Miller Summer Kickoff at Time Warner Cable Field. There will be $1 Miller products during the entire six-game homestand. Tuesday is also a 105.7WAPL Bang for Your Buck Night with soda and hot dogs for $1, too.
Milk Source presents "Salute To Cows" on Tuesday as well to help the Rattlers celebrate Dairy Month in America's Dairyland. The first 1,000 fans to attend Tuesday's game will receive a cup and spoon from Milk Source.
If you can't make it out to the game, you can tune into the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm.
WP: Brooks Hall (2-0)
LP: Tanner Robles (3-5)
SAVE: Greg Holle (12)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.