GENEVA, IL - A trio of Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitchers held off the Kane County Cougars long enough for the offense to scratch out a run in the eleventh inning for a 2-1 road victory at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Matt Miller, Tommy Toledo, and Seth Harvey combined to hold a potent Kane County offense to one run on five hits in the game.
Tyler Roberts, who hit two home runs in Friday's game at home, gave the Rattlers (23-13) a lead in the fifth on Saturday. The Wisconsin catcher grounded a single that just made it through the right side of the infield to score Ben McMahan from second base to make the score 1-0.
But, the Cougars (18-18) would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Kenny Swab was at second base with two outs. Tim Ferguson sent a grounder to right and second baseman Greg Hopkins made a sliding stop of the ball just beyond the infield dirt. Hopkins had no play at first, but he noticed that Swab had rounded third base too far and had stopped. Hopkins ran at Swab and threw behind him to third. Swab took off for the plate and scored when Brandon Macias threw wildly home.
Those were the only runs allowed by the respective starting pitchers. Miller worked six innings and allowed that unearned run on four hits. Kane County starter Scott Alexander scattered six hits and two walks over six innings.
Wisconsin had an opportunity to take a lead in the seventh inning as they loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh inning against Kane County reliever Jason Mitchell. But, Mitchell escaped with a strikeout and a fly out.
Toledo walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth and - after a sacrifice bunt - intentionally walked a batter to set up a double play. The strategy worked as Orlando Calixte sent a sharp grounder to Macias at third. Macias turned the grounder into an inning ending double play and sent the game to extra innings.
Wisconsin loaded the bases in the top of the eleventh inning on a single, a walk, and another single by the first three batters of the game. McMahan was next and he grounded the first pitch of his at bat right at the second baseman. But, Danny Mateo bobbled the ball and let it get behind him to let Jason Rogers score the go ahead run.
Harvey gave up a single to the leadoff batter in the bottom of the eleventh. After a stolen base put that runner on second, Harvey walked the next batter to put the winning run aboard with Jorge Bonifacio and Lane Adams due up next.
Harvey struck out Bonifacio, who entered the game with a .315 average good for fourth in the Midwest League, on a nasty 1-2 pitch. Lane, the league's leading hitter at .341 when the game started, struck out on three pitches. From there, Harvey clinched the game - and his seventh save of the season by getting Michael Antonio to ground out to first.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. Drew Gagnon (3-0, 1.02) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Edwin Carl (2-2, 1.69) is set to start for the Cougars. Game time is 1:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:40pm.
WP: Tommy Toledo (4-0)
LP: Jason Mitchell (0-3)
SAVE: Seth Harvey (7)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.