PEORIA, IL - Brooks Hall picked a great time for 7-1/3 shutout innings. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers right-hander allowed three hits and picked up the win in a 2-0 victory over the Peoria Chiefs Thursday night at O'Brien Field. Wisconsin won their fifth game in a row and moved to within a ½ game of the Quad Cities River Bandits for the First Half Western Division Wild Card.
The Rattlers (37-30) grabbed an early lead with a second inning run. Chris Dennis was at third with two outs. Tony Pechek's grounder behind second base was bobbled for an error. That allowed Pechek to reach and Dennis to score the unearned run.
Peoria (33-34) threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Micah Gibbs doubled off the wall in right to start the inning. A grounder to the right side moved Gibbs to third with one out. But, Wisconsin third baseman Greg Hopkins stopped a hard grounder to left off the bat of Anthony Giansanti with a diving stop. Hopkins looked Gibbs back to third and threw to first in time for the second out. Then, Reggie Keen tracked down a deep fly ball to right-center to retire Brandon May and end the inning.
After that double by Gibbs, Hall retired ten straight Chiefs to protect that lead.
Wisconsin got an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning. Nick Shaw tripled to right-center with two outs. Cody Hawn followed with a line drive single to right on a 1-2 pitch. The single sent Shaw home for a 2-0 lead.
Hall went back out for the eighth inning and got the first out. But, he streak of consecutive batters stopped at ten when Anthony Giansanti reached on an infield single. Hall walked one and struck out two for his third win of the season.
Reliever Eric Marzec answered the call to the bullpen and came in to get the second out of the inning. But, Hyung-Min Na reached on another infield single to put the tying runs on base and bring the go ahead run to the plate. But, Marzec got Matt Szczur, who entered the game second in the Midwest League batting raced, to pop out to Hawn in foul territory behind first base for the final out.
Wisconsin closer Greg Holle worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning by getting three ground outs to end the game. Holle is 15-for-15 in save opportunities this season. He is also tied for the Midwest League lead in the save category with Steve Turnbull of Lansing.
The Rattlers completed their first four game sweep at O'Brien Field since July 11-14, 2003.
Wisconsin also got help from the Clinton LumberKings on Thursday night. Clinton defeated Quad Cities 5-1 to knock the River Bandits record to 37-29. The River Bandits head home to wrap up the first half with a three game series against the Chiefs.
The Rattlers begin their final series of the first half on Friday night at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against the Kernels. Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 5.09) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Kernels have scheduled Baudilio Lopez (0-1, 15.00) as their starting pitcher.
Game time on Friday night is 6:35pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.
WP: Brooks Hall (3-1)
LP: Eric Jokisch (7-1)
SAVE: Greg Holle (15)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.