GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Beloit Snappers coaxed ten walks out of Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitchers, including five in a decisive three-run rally, and ended Wisconsin's brief two game winning streak with a 6-4 win Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field.
Beloit (59-57 overall, 21-25 second half) took the lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Daniel Santana reached on a single to start the game. Andrew Leer was next and he reached on catcher's interference. A deep fly ball to center by Lance Ray moved both runners up a base. A sacrifice fly by Jairo Perez gave Beloit the 1-0.
The Snappers extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Tyler Grimes walked to start the inning. Derek McCallum doubled in Grimes, went to third on a balk, and scored on a single by Tobias Streich.
Wisconsin (57-59, 19-27) would rally to tie the game with three straight runs. Jason Rogers singled with one out in the second. Nick Ramirez drove him in with a double.
In the fourth, Chad Stang reached on an error and stole second. Ramirez drove in Stang with a single. A Franklin Romero, Jr. single later in the inning sent Ramirez home to tie the game 3-2.
The game remained tied until the top of the sixth. Rattlers starting pitcher Del Howell walked the leadoff batter and gave way for reliever Stosh Wawrzasek. Wawrzasek got the first out with a strikeout, but walked the next two batters to load the bases. Greg Holle entered the game after the second walk. McCallum worked the count to 3-2 and knocked in the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
Holle walked the next batter to reload the bases. Then, Wan-Wei Lin drove a single to right that scored two runs for a 6-3 Beloit lead.
The Rattlers threatened late. Madison Boer, the 2nd round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 draft, entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning as the third Snappers pitcher of the night. Boer struck out the first two batters of the frame. Then, Brandon Macias singled. Reggie Keen followed with another single. Nick Shaw completed the trifecta with an RBI single to score Macias to make the score 6-4. However, Boer recorded the final out to pick up his first Midwest League save.
Wisconsin missed out on an opportunity to pick up ground in the second half playoff standings. Both Kane County and Clinton, the teams holding the playoff spots lost on Thursday night. A win would have also put the Rattlers into a tie with the Snappers in the standings.
It was Beloit who picked up ground as they moved to within three games of Clinton for the second half Wild Card. The Rattlers dropped into a tie for fifth place with Cedar Rapids and Peoria.
There are 24 games remaining in the 2011 regular season.
The final game of the series is Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Jimmy Nelson (6-7, 4.34) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Beloit has Manuel Soliman (6-8, 4.05) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
BirdZerk! returns to Time Warner Cable Field to entertain the fans with his antics on a North Shore Bank Family Night as children 12 and under eat free. After the game, enjoy a fireworks display! After the fireworks, Fazoli's invites children 14 and under to participate in Kids Run the Bases.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Friday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
WP: Ryan O'Rourke (4-3)
LP: Del Howell (1-7)
SAVE: Madison Boer (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.