BURLINGTON, IA - Brooks Hall got some help from the bullpen and just enough offense to become a seven game winner. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers right-hander tossed 5-2/3 innings in Wisconsin's 5-4 victory over the Burlington Bees Sunday afternoon at Community Field. Reggie Keen paced the offense with four hits and Cody Hawn delivered a pair of key RBI to help the Rattlers end a three-game losing streak.
Wisconsin (61-64 overall, 23-32 second half) scored three times in the top of the first inning thanks to a few defensive miscues. TJ Mittelstaedt bunted with one out and reached on a hit. He also took third on the play on an overthrow to first base. Hawn slapped a single through a drawn in infield to send Mittelstaedt home with the first run of the game.
Jason Rogers followed with a single. Chad Stang reached on a bunt that was ruled an error after third baseman Wade Kirkland could not make a barehanded play. That loaded the bases.
Rafael Neda picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice as Stang was forced at second. Keen drove in the final run of the inning with a double the line in right that was just inside first base bag.
Burlington (67-58, 22-33) responded in the third inning. A two-out, two-run home run to right by Nino Leyja off Hall got the Bees to within a run.
The Rattlers had a chance to build on their lead in the top of the fourth as they loaded the bases with no outs. But, Burlington starter Blake Hassebrock got a grounder that turned into a force at the plate and a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame with the Rattlers still up 3-2.
The Bees made the Rattlers pay for that wasted opportunity. Jose Crisotomo cashed in a runner from second with a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at three.
Hawn put the Rattlers back in front in the top of the sixth inning. His sacrifice fly scored Franklin Romero, Jr. from third and Wisconsin went up 4-3.
Casey Medlen relieved Hall with a runner at second and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Medlen got the final out of the inning with a strikeout.
Wisconsin added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. Keen reached second on an infield single and a throwing error to start the inning. An errant pickoff throw allowed Keen to take third. Greg Hopkins got Keen home with a hard grounder to third. The infield was in, but by the time the ball was knocked down and picked up, there was only play was to first base.
Medlen struck out the side in order in the bottom of the seventh and worked around a one out single in the eighth before turning the ball over to Adrian Rosario for the bottom of the ninth.
The inning started out with a high fly to left off the bat of Royce Consigli that was dropped after a long run by Stang. John Nester was next and his single put runners at the corners. Rosario got Ryan Pineda to ground into a force play at second that scored Consigli to get the Bees to within a run.
Rosario retired the next batter for the second out of the inning. The Bees sent pinch-hitter Josh Whitaker to the plate. Whitaker, who is second in the Midwest League in hitting with a .324 average and also has 16 homers on the season, stepped to the plate representing the winning run. He would draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch.
Rosario recovered to get Crisotomo to ground to firs to end the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
Hall, who struck out five over 5-2/3 innings, picked up his seventh win of the season.
The Timber Rattlers and Bees meet in game three of the series at Community Field on Monday night. Wisconsin has Del Howell (2-7, 5.61) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Burlington plans to send Jonathan Joseph (4-4, 5.92) to the mound. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Nino Leyja (5th, 1 on in 3rd inning, off Brooks Hall, 2 out)
WP: Brooks Hall (7-4)
LP: Max Petersen (2-2)
SAVE: Adrian Rosario (4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.