FORT WAYNE, Ind. - In game three of the Midwest League championship series the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 10-8, Saturday night at Parkview Field. The Timber Rattlers now lead the best-of-five series two games to one.
Fort Wayne worked to a 3-1 lead after three innings, but a five-run Wisconsin fourth inning presented a deficit which haunted Fort Wayne for the majority of the game. The TinCaps rallied late-scoring two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings-but went 4-14 with runners in scoring position, and struck out 13 times. Wisconsin, which had collected six total hits in the first two games of the series, doubled that total, and went 6-9 with runners in scoring position while also hitting two home runs.
TinCaps starting pitcher Frank Garces retired the side in order in the first two innings, allowed a run in the third and did not escape the fourth. He surrendered a solo home run to Nick Ramirez to begin the inning, and left after giving up an RBI single to Adrian Williams, who was 1-14 at the plate in the postseason entering that at-bat. Cody Hebner then entered the game and surrendered a three- run home run to Brandon Macias, which put Wisconsin in front, 6-3.
Tyler Stubblefield scored in the fifth on a two-out wild pitch thrown by Wisconsin starter David Goforth. That run made it 6-4 in favor of the Timber Rattlers. Goforth worked six innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits, walking three and striking out ten.
Wisconsin stretched its two-run lead into a 10-4 advantage by the bottom of the eighth inning. The previously offensively dormant Timber Rattlers, who had a team playoff batting average of .185 entering the game, scored one run against Daniel Cropper in the seventh and three against James Jones in the eighth.
Duanel Jones and Jace Peterson knocked in runs in the eighth inning, which ended with a bases loaded fly-out to right by Stubblefield. In the ninth, Austin Hedges doubled home Travis Whitmore, and Jeremy Baltz grounded out to bring home Lee Orr, pulling the TinCaps as close as they would get, 10-8. The game ended as Jones struck out, leaving Hedges stranded at third. Fort Wayne left nine runners on base for the night.
Game four of the series is scheduled for Sunday evening at 5:05 at Parkview Field. The scheduled starters are James Needy for Fort Wayne and Chad Thompson for Wisconsin. A win for Wisconsin would being the Timber Rattlers the Midwest League title, while a win for Fort Wayne would force a decisive game five.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.