GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers made it look as if they would continue their late season roll as they grabbed a 3-0 lead over the Cedar Rapids Kernels Monday night at Time Warner Cable Field. But, the Kernels rallied to beat Wisconsin 6-4 and snap the Rattlers four game winning streak.
Cody Hawn started the Rattlers second inning with a single. Nick Ramirez followed with a walk. Reggie Keen was next and his double down the third base line drove both runners. Keen scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Greg Hopkins and the Rattlers (66-67 overall, 28-35 second half) led 3-0.
But, the Kernels (58-75, 26-37) rallied in the top of the third inning. Jean Almanzar homered off Rattlers starter Eric Arnett with one out. Later in the inning, Jeremy Cruz singled in a run with two outs to make the score 3-2.
Arnett had two outs with no one on base in the fifth inning. Then, Cruz and Ricky Alvarez singled and Brian Hernandez walked on four pitches to load the bases. Arnett also walked Francis Larson on four pitches to force in the tying run.
Wisconsin reliever Casey Medlen, who got the final out of the fifth inning, would have a runner at second with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. However, Justin Bass doubled to send the go ahead run home for the Kernels.
A two out RBI single by Rolando Gomez drove in an insurance run for Cedar Rapids in the top of the eighth.
Controversy followed the Rattlers in an attempted rally in the bottom of the eighth. There was one out when lefty Dakota Robinson entered the game to face left-handed hitters Hawn and Ramirez. Hawn greeted Robinson with a single. But, it looked like Robinson had picked Hawn off first base. The Rattlers runner was caught in a rundown and appeared to be tagged for the out. There was a collision between Hawn and Alvarez, the first baseman for Cedar Rapids, before the tag and Alvarez was called for obstruction.
Kernels manager Brent Del Chiaro came out to argue that Hawn had initiated the contact and was out of the baseline when contact was made. He was ejected after they umpires upheld the call.
Ramirez cashed in the opportunity for Wisconsin with a double to score Hawn and cut the Cedar Rapids lead to a run.
Brandon Macias came on to pinch run for Ramirez and Keen would bloop a single to center. But, Macias had to hold to make sure the ball fell in for a hit. That put runners at first and third with one out.
But, Robinson would pick Keen off first base and strike out Joey Paciorek to end the threat.
Cedar Rapids added another insurance run in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI single by Ricky Alvarez.
Manny Correa gave up a leadoff single to Hopkins in the bottom of the ninth. Then, he retired the last three batters in order for his second save of the season.
The final home game of the Timber Rattlers 2011 schedule is Tuesday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Matt Miller (6-7, 4.41) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Cedar Rapids has Justin La Tempa (3-9, 4.61) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Jean Almanzar (3rd, 0 on in 3rd inning off Eric Arnett, 1 out)
WP: Seth Fowler (3-4)
LP: Casey Medlen (1-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.