MIDLAND, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers closed out regular season play against the Midwest League's Eastern Division with a solid 6-3 win over the Great Lakes Loons Monday night at Dow Diamond. Reggie Keen collected three hits and a key outfield assist as Matt Miller allowed one run over six innings to lead the Rattlers to the win.
Miller recorded the first two outs of the first inning. But, back-to-back walks on close pitches for ball four put two runners on base. Chris Jacobs singled to right to drive in the run to give Great Lakes (57-42 overall, 18-12 second half) a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin (51-49, 13-17) answered in the top of the third inning. Keen singled in Joey Paciorek to tie the game 1-1.
The Rattlers took the lead in the top of the fifth. Mike Brownstein singled to start the inning. Keen bunted up the first base line and Loons pitcher Greg Wilborn threw wildly to first. The play was ruled a sacrifice bunt and an error on the throw as Brownstein took third base. Keen would steal second to get into scoring position. Nick Shaw sent both runners home with a single to left for a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth, Joey Paciorek doubled off the wall in left field to send Chad Stang home from first. Paciorek took third on the play at the plate. Mike Brownstein's sacrifice fly send Paciorek home for a 5-1 lead.
Mike Walker picked up his 71st RBI of the season with a two-out double in the top of the seventh and the Rattlers were up 6-1.
Miller tossed six innings, allowed one run, and scattered six hits and four walks.
The Loons got a run in the bottom of the seventh off Brian Garman. Chris Jacobs singled to center with runners on the corners and one out. The runner from third scored, but runner from first challenged the arm of Keen. The Rattlers centerfielder threw out the runner at third by a wide margin. It was his thirteenth outfield assist of the season and the 38th of the year by a Rattlers outfielder. That was fortunate. The next batter doubled to put runners at second and third.
Adrian Rosario came on and got the final out of the inning when TJ Mittelstaedt made a diving catch on a sinking line drive.
Wisconsin carried the 6-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. Eric Marzec gave up a leadoff homer to Jesse Bosnik and walked Nick Akins to start the inning. But, Marzec bounced back with a strikeout of Jacobs and got Jon Garcia to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to secure the victory.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday. They return to action on Wednesday at Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Iowa against the LumbkerKings. Maverick Lasker (1-3, 5.53) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Nate Reed (2-3, 3.86) is set to start for Clinton. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
Jesse Bosnik (3rd, 0 on in 9th inning, off Eric Marzec, 0 out)
WP: Matt Miller (4-4)
LP: Greg Wilborn (2-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.