Rattlers crack Lugnuts

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | July 22, 2011 6:19 PM ET

LANSING, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 7-2 Friday night at Cooley Law School Stadium behind a fast start from the offense and a strong start from Jimmy Nelson.

TJ Mittelstaedt got the Rattlers (49-48 overall, 11-16 second half) off on the right foot. The Wisconsin leadoff batter crushed the first pitch of the game for a long home run to right-center. Later in the inning, Greg Hopkins made the score 2-0 with an RBI double.

Lansing (55-39, 17-10) had runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the first inning. But, Rattlers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson avoided allowing a run with a popup and a ground out.

The Rattlers went right back on the attack in the top of the second. Franklin Romero, Jr. singled and stole second to start the inning. Mittelstaedt reached on an infield single and an ill-advised throw to first let Romero score. Mittelstaedt would take second on the play. Nick Shaw made it 4-0 with an RBI single.

Michael Crouse put Lansing on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run to left-center.

That home run by Crouse was the only run allowed by Wisconsin starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson allowed. The right-hander tossed six innings, gave up four hits, and struck out six.

The Rattlers offense scored three more times in the top of the seventh inning. Mittelstaedt drew a one out walk. Shaw followed with an RBI triple. Mike Walker's double plated Shaw. Later in the frame, Walker scored on a wild pitch for a 7-1 lead.

Lansing scored a run in the bottom of the eighth without a hit off reliever Adrian Rosario. A pair of one out walks, a passed ball, and an RBI grounder by Marcus Knecht made the score 7-2. Alan Williams, one of the new Rattlers relief pitchers, relieved Rosario and got the final out.

Williams worked a scoreless ninth inning to close out the Lugnuts.

The Timber Rattlers continue their road trip with a game against the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday night at Down Diamond in Midland, Michigan. Charly Bashara (3-3, 4.69) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Ryan Christenson (7-6, 4.68) is the scheduled starter for the Loons. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:45pm.

TJ Mittelstaedt (9th, 0 on in 1st inning, off Egan Smith, 0 out)

Michael Crouse (13th, 0 on in 3rd inning, off Jimmy Nelson, 1 out)

WP: Jimmy Nelson (5-7)
LP: Egan Smith (4-4)

TIME: 2:58
ATTN: 8,733

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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