GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had an early 4-0 lead, but the Beloit Snappers would score ten unanswered runs and beat the Rattlers 10-4 Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The bottom third of the Beloit order did in the Rattlers as the Snappers earned a three-game sweep of the Rattlers.
Ben McMahan started the scoring for Wisconsin (75-61 overall, 31-36 second half). He blasted a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Nick Ramirez would hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the second inning and Wisconsin was up 2-0.
Those two round trippers gave the 2012 Timber Rattlers 102 home runs for the season and set a record. The previous record of 101 homers by a Rattlers team had been set by the 2005 team.
Wisconsin added two more runs in the third inning. There were runners at first and second with one out and a grounder to short looked like a double play. But, the flip to second was wild. Lance Roenicke scored all the way from second base as the ball was tracked down. Yadiel Rivera drove in the second run of the inning with a single and the Rattlers were up 4-0.
Beloit (74-63, 36-31) rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth. A single and an error let Eddie Rosario to reach third to start the frame. A sacrifice fly by Kennys Vargas got Beloit their first run. Then, back-to-back singles by Drew Leachman and Wang-Wei Lin put two runners on base for the Snappers. AJ Pettersen, the #7 hitter in the Beloit lineup, followed with another single and Leachman scored on the play. There was a slight bobble in the outfield on the play and Lin tried to score from first. He was out at the plate.
Jairo Rodriguez, who hit eighth in Beloit's batting order, would pick up the fourth straight hit with an RBI double to score Pettersen and cut the Rattlers lead to a single run.
The Rattlers maintained that lead until the eighth inning.
A walk, a bunt single, and a sacrifice bunt started the Beloit eighth inning. Wisconsin intentionally walked Pettersen to set up a potential double play. But, Rodriguez knocked in the tying run with a sacrifice fly.
Tyler Grimes was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch down the left field line. The ball stayed fair as it cleared the wall for a three-run homer and a 7-4 Beloit lead. Grimes, the number nine hitter in the Beloit lineup, also hit a home run in Beloit's win on Thursday.
Beloit tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth inning and it was the bottom third of the order that did the damage again. Pettersen knocked in a run with a ground out; Rosario had an RBI double; and Grimes singled in the final run.
The 7-8-9 hitters in the Beloit order went 6-for-12 with nine RBI on Friday night.
Wisconsin's lead for the best overall record in the Western Divison fell to 0.5 games over the Snappers. There are three games left in the season.
The Timber Rattlers hit the road for the final three games of the regular season and they will take on a possible first round playoff opponent on Saturday night. Wisconsin takes on the Burlington Bees at Community Field. Chad Pierce (7-5, 3.47) is the scheduled starter for the Rattlers. The Bees have Drew Granier (11-9, 3.10) as their scheduled starting pitcher. 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.
Tyler Grimes (7th, 2 on in 8th inning off Santo Manzanillo, 2 out)
Ben McMahan (14th, 0 on in 1st inning off Jason Wheeler, 2 out)
Nick Ramirez (16th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Jason Wheeler, 0 out)
WP: Corey Kimes (2-0)
LP: Santo Manzanillo (0-1)
SAVE: Corey Williams (17)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.