COMSTOCK PARK, MI - It took a little longer than the previous four, but the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 3-2 on Saturday afternoon for their fifth consecutive victory. John Dishon made sure outstanding performances by the Wisconsin bullpen did not go to waste by driving in the go ahead run in the top of the twelfth inning.
West Michigan (7-9) struck for two runs after two outs in the bottom of the third. Matt Perry, the number nine hitter in the Whitecaps lineup, singled with two out and none on to start the rally. Chad Wright followed with a single. Then, Eugenio Suarez blooped in a double just out of the reach of right fielder Max Walla. The hit drove in Perry and moved Wright to third. An infield single by Aaron Westlake plated Wright and the Caps were up 2-0.
Wisconsin (10-6) rallied for a run in the fourth. Jason Rogers started the inning with a double. One out later, Brandon Macias doubled to get Rogers home and cut the score to 2-1.
Max Walla broke an 0-for-13 string with a double to start the top of the sixth. The hit was the first for the outfielder since joining the Timber Rattlers on April 17. Parker Berberet knocked in Walla with a double to tie the game 2-2.
Rattlers relievers Tyler Cravy and Tommy Toledo combined to pitch seven scoreless innings and kept the game tied until the twelfth. The duo allowed two hits and struck out five without allowing a walk.
Wisconsin took advantage of a break in the twelfth to set up their winning rally. Rafael Neda was up with one out and sent a high pop foul into foul territory down the right field line. Suarez got there after a long run from his second base position, but the ball popped out of his glove. Neda was hit by the next pitch to put the go ahead run on base.
Chadwin Stang came on to pinch run for Neda and picked a spot to successfully steal second base. After the go ahead run was on second, Dishon delivered a sharp single to center to score Stang and the Rattlers led 3-2.
Seth Harvey relieved for the bottom of the twelfth and got the first two out, but gave up a fluky double to Danry Vasquez to allow the Whitecaps a chance to tie the game. But, Harvey fired strike three past Curt Casali to end the game.
The Timber Rattlers continue their road trip with the first game of a three game series at South Bend on Sunday afternoon. Drew Gagnon (1-0, 1.26) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Silver Hawks have Jeff Shields (0-2, 1.42) on the docket as their starting pitcher. Game time at Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium is 1:05pm CDT. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm.
WP: Tommy Toledo (3-0)
LP: Tim Kelley (0-3)
SAVE: Seth Harvey (3)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.