CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - Zach Borenstein's career night spoiled a huge comeback by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night at Perfect Game Field. The Timber Rattlers scored eight times in the top of the eighth inning to storm back from a 10-3 deficit. But, Borenstein hit his second home run of the game with two outs and a runner at third in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Kernels a 12-11 victory. Borenstein went 4-for-5 with two homers, two doubles, and six RBI in the game.
The Kernels (37-48 overall, 5-10 second half) got the first run of the game. Eric Stamets was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Alex Yarbrough followed with a double to put runners on the corners with no outs. An RBI grounder to second by Frazier Hall scored Stamets for a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin (51-33, 7-8) broke out in front with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Cameron Garfield was hit by a pitch and Yadiel Rivera doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs. The double by Rivera was the first Wisconsin hit off Kernels starting pitcher Michael Johnson. It was also the last. Johnson left the game after the double by Rivera with a blister on his pitching hand.
Reliever Logan Odom could not hold the lead for the Kernels. Max Walla got the tying run home with a RBI grounder to first. Chadwin Stang sent Rivera home with a single for a 2-1 Rattlers lead.
Cedar Rapids tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Borenstein, who had doubled to lead off the frame, scored from third on a two-out wild pitch by Thompson.
Nick Ramirez pushed the Rattlers back in front in the top of the sixth inning with a long home run to right-center. The homer, his eighth of the season, was a solo shot to start the frame and make the score 3-2.
The Kernels answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth inning against reliever Jacob Barnes. Barnes walked the leadoff batter, but struck out the next two hitters was on the verge of getting out of the frame. But, Zach Wright tied the game by blooping a double down the right field line. Borenstein was next and he blooped a double down the left field line to send Wright home with the go ahead run. Trevor Hairgrove capped the inning with a single through the middle of the diamond to score Borenstein with a run for a 5-3.
The Kernels appeared to put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the seventh. Yarbrough doubled with two runners on base to knock in both runners. Later in the inning Borenstein welcomed reliever Stosh Wawrzasek with a three-run home run. That put the Kernels up 10-3 heading to the eighth inning.
Wisconsin loaded the bases with one out against Joe Melioris and Walla, a lefty, was due to hit. The Kernels went to get a lefty out of the bullpen, Stephen Tromblee. Walla worked the count to 3-1 and pulled a pitch past the first base bag. The ball rolled into the right field corner for a three-run triple to cut the Kernels lead to 10-6.
Adrian Williams kept the inning going with a walk. Stang followed with a bunt single to get Walla home and the score was 10-7.
Lance Roenicke loaded the bases with an infield single. Then, Brandon Macias dropped a single into center to score a single run. The score was 10-8 with the bases loaded again, one out, and Ben McMahan due to hit.
McMahan had already batted with the bases loaded once in the game. In the fifth inning, he flew out to right. In the eighth, McMahan drove a flyball to the wall in right field for another three-run triple and the Rattlers took the lead 11-10.
Closer Tommy Toledo came on to pitch the eighth inning and he worked around a two out single. In the ninth, he could not work around Borenstein. Andy Workman doubled with one out and took third base on a grounder to short for the second out of the inning.
Borenstein lined the first pitch he saw from Toledo over the wall in right for the game-winning home run.
Wisconsin returns home to begin a brief three game homestand against the Kane County Cougars. Game one of the set is Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Timber Rattlers have Matt Miller (7-5, 3.95) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Kane County plans to send Angel Baez (3-2, 2.52) to the mound as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm.
The Timber Rattlers and Fox River Mall invited Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, and Tiana to our castle for the game and they look forward to greeting fans under the first base picnic pavilion during the game as part of Storybook Princess Night.
The first 500 fans to attend the game will receive coupon packets, bracelets and feather boas compliments of Fox River Mall and the first 500 kids will also receive a princess toothbrush provided by Dental Associates. Exhibitors from the mall (Things Remembered, Great American Cookie Company, Pandora, and more) will be on the main concourse of the stadium with services and prizes like hand massages, beauty kits, and bracelets. Little princess fans may register to win Fox River Mall gift cards and Club Sassafras Princess Parties, too.
Plus, it's a Fly Away Saturday. One lucky fan will win charter airfare for two from Funjet Vacations and Fox World Travel at this game.
The Timber Rattlers are still celebrating Independence Day, so stick around after the game for a FOX-11 fireworks display!
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Saturday's game will also be available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Nick Ramirez (8th, 0 on in 6tth inning, off Logan Odom, 0 out)
Zach Borenstein (5th, 2 on in 7th inning off Stosh Wawrzasek, 2 out)
Zach Borenstein (6th, 1 on in 9th inning, off Tommy Toledo, 2 out)
WP: Ty Kelley (4-1)
LP: Tommy Toledo (7-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.