BURLINGTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Burlington Bees 6-1 in game one of a doubleheader on Labor Day at Community Field. The victory let the Rattlers clinch best overall record in the Western Division of the Midwest League. Wisconsin will have home field advantage through the first two rounds of the postseason.
Wisconsin (77-61 overall, 33-36 second half) got another fast start with a first inning run. Ben McMahan doubled with one out. A two-out single to center by Cameron Garfield drove in McMahan for a 1-0 lead.
Burlington (67-71, 35-34) answered in the bottom of the second inning. Max Muncy started the inning with a double and was moved to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield. A sacrifice fly by John Wooten tied the game 1-1. The Bees loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of walks and a single but did not score again in the frame.
McMahan put the Rattlers back in front in the top of the third inning. He clobbered a two-run home run deep to left for a 3-1 lead. One out later, Cameron Garfield lined a 1-0 pitch down the left field line. The ball cleared the fence and was ruled fair for a solo homer and a 4-1 advantage.
Rattlers starting pitcher Chad Thompson allowed a pair of one-out singles in the third inning. Then, retired the next eight batters he faced to carry the 4-1 lead to the sixth inning.
He would walk the leadoff batter in the sixth and an error brought the tying run to the plate. Thompson would get the first out of the inning before turning the game over to Brent Suter.
Suter got the second out of the inning with a strikeout, but walked the next hitter to load the bases. Suter escaped the jam with a grounder to second and the Rattlers maintained their 4-1 lead.
Nick Ramirez provided some insurance in the top of the seventh inning. Macias and McMahan started the inning with singles. Ramirez followed with a double to the right field corner to drive in both runners for a 6-1 lead.
Suter closed out the Bees with a scoreless seventh inning.
Earlier in the day, Peoria beat Kane County 6-2. That allowed Burlington to get into the Midwest League playoffs as the second half Western Division Wild Card. Wisconsin will face the Bees in round one of the Midwest League playoffs. Game one of the best of three series will be in Burlington on Wednesday night.
Ben McMahan (15th, 1 on in 3rd inning off Blake Hassebrock, 0 out),br>
Cameron Garfield (11th, 0 on in 3rd inning off Blake Hassebrock, 1 out)
WP: Chad Thompson (5-2)
LP: Blake Hassebrock (2-2)
SAVE: Brent Suter (2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.