GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers almost let one get away on Saturday night against the Clinton LumberKings. The LumberKings scored three times in the top of the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings. Nick Ramirez knocked in the winning run with a two-out bases loaded single in the thirteenth inning for a 9-8 win. The win was the third in a row for Wisconsin.
Rafael Neda put the Rattlers (68-49 overall, 24-24 second half) up 1-0 in the second inning. Neda's double high off the wall in left field scored Greg Hopkins from first base.
Ben McMahan made it 4-0 in favor of the Timber Rattlers in the third inning. Max Walla singled and Brandon Macias doubled to start the inning. McMahan followed with his tenth home run of the season, a three-run blast over the wall in left-center.
The LumberKings (52-63, 29-18) scored their first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Patrick Brady hit a homer for the first Clinton hit of the game off Wisconsin starting pitcher Chad Pierce. They added a run in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI double by Jamal Austin.
Wisconsin added to their lead with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Adrian Williams drove in a run with a single in the sixth. A balk called on Clinton reliever David Colvin allowed Macias to score from third and the Rattlers were up 6-2.
Pierce left the game after seven innings. He allowed the two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. He did not figure into the decision.
Clinton got to within a run in the top of the eighth inning as they scored three runs off Rattlers reliever Michael Strong. The LumberKings had runners at first and second with no outs and an error on a force play at second allowed a run to score. Dan Paolini followed with a two-run double and Clinton was down 6-5 with the tying run at second with no outs. Strong would escape the inning with the lead.
The Rattlers got a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Consecutive RBI doubles by Carlos George and Max Walla with two outs drove put the Rattlers up 8-5.
But, Clinton came back. A double and an error put two runners on with one out. Strong got the second out with a strikeout. But, Austin singled in a run. Then, Paolini tied the game with his second two-run double of the game.
The game stayed tied 8-8 until the bottom of the thirteenth inning due to stellar relief work from Stosh Wawrzasek and Tyler Cravy of the Rattlers and Matt Brazis and Stephen Shackelford for Clinton.
Wawrzasek and Cravy combined to work four scoreless innings and record six strikeouts. Brazis struck out five in three scoreless frames and Shackelford pitched a scoreless twelfth with a pair of strikeouts.
Shackelford retired the first batter in the bottom of the thirteenth. Then, George singled to center. Walla's fly ball to left was dropped and Wisconsin had two runners on with one out. A wild pitch moved both George and Walla up a base and led to an intentional walk to Macias, who had four hits and reached base six times on Saturday.
The LumberKings got the second out on a strikeout and that brought Ramirez to the plate. The Rattlers first baseman lined the first pitch from Shackelford into right field for a single to drive in George with the winning run. The 'walkoff' hit was the third of the season for Ramirez and Wisconsin got to celebrate their tenth 'walkoff' win at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin will have David Goforth (8-6, 4.88) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Clinton has Jordan Shipers (4-5, 3.80) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 1:05pm.
Purchase your tickets at the gate on Sunday, August 12th, and a portion goes toward pediatric cancer research and local support programs as part of Strike Out Cancer Day with McClone Insurance Group and CW14.! Shear Chaos will be at the game for those wishing to donate to Locks of Love!
It is also a 107.5 The Fan Brewers Sunday and Timber Rattlers players will wear their Brewer-themed jerseys during the game. Fans are invited to play catch on the field before the game courtesy of American Eagle. There is also an autograph session after the game with all of the players.
If you can't make it to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Patrick Brady (1st, 0 on in 4th inning off Chad Pierce, 0 out)
Ben McMahan (10th, 2 on in 3rd inning off Mayckol Guaipe, 0 out)
WP: Tyler Cravy (2-5)
LP: Stephen Shackelford (4-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.