GENEVA, IL - Chad Pierce struck out eight over seven scoreless innings for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a 4-0 win over the Kane County Cougars at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Thursday night. The eight strikeouts sets a professional single game high for the Fond du Lac native and gave the Rattlers their second straight win.
Ben McMahan put the Rattlers (59-42 overall, 15-17 second half) in front in the top of the fourth inning. Greg Hopkins doubled with one out and moved to third on a groundball. McMahan singled to left to drive in Hopkins for the 1-0 lead.
Kane County (50-52, 16-16) threatened to at least tie the game in the bottom of the seventh against Pierce. Michael Antonio drew a walk and Alex Llanos was hit by a pitch. Both runners were bunted into scoring position. Pierce got the next out on a shallow fly ball to right field, but needed help to get out of the frame with the lead intact.
Kevin David sent a ground ball that was headed for centerfield and a two run single. Rattlers shortstop Yadiel Rivera made a diving grab of the ball behind second base, got to his feet, and fired a strike to first to beat the Cougars catcher by a half step to end the inning and keep the Rattlers up 1-0.
The game did not stay 1-0 for long. Rivera started the top of the eighth with a single. Chadwin Stang drew a walk. Max Walla was called on to bunt and good things happened for the Rattlers. Cougars reliever Mike Giovenco fielded the ball and fired wide of first base. By the time the ball got back to the infield, Rivera and Stang had scored and Walla was standing on third base. Later in the inning, Nick Ramirez singled to knock in Walla for a 4-0 lead.
Pierce was done after the seventh. He surrendered three hits, walked two, and hit a batter over his seven scoreless innings. In his last four starts, Pierce has allowed three runs over 28 innings.
Michael Strong finished off the Cougars with five strikeouts over the final two innings.
Wisconsin and Kane County conclude their three-game series on Friday night. David Goforth (7-5, 5.12) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Cougars have Bryan Brickhouse (2-2, 6.52) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10.
WP: Chad Pierce (4-3)
LP: Kyle Zimmer (0-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.