GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Fort Wayne TinCaps gave the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers a taste of their own medicine on Thursday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers rode stellar starting pitching to the Midwest League Championship series and a one game lead through Wednesday night. On Thursday, Colin Rea and two relievers combined to hold Wisconsin's offense to two hits in a 5-1 Fort Wayne victory in Game Three of the MWLCS. Fort Wayne's win evened the best-of-five series at 1-1.
The TinCaps got on the board first with a leadoff homer by Lee Orr in the second inning off Wisconsin starting pitcher Chad Pierce. Orr had eleven homers during the regular season. His second inning blast was his fourth in seven postseason games.
Nick Ramirez tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. He launched a 2-2 pitch with two outs over the Timber Rattlers bullpen for his third homer of the playoffs to even the score 1-1.
But, the TinCaps responded in the top of the fifth inning with a pair of runs. Kyle Gaedele started the inning with a double. Tyler Stubblefield tried to bunt Gaedele over to third base, but was unsuccessful in his first two attempts. The bunt play was taken off with two strikes and Stubblefield lined an RBI double to left-center. An error allowed Stubblefield to take third base. Jace Peterson's sacrifice fly sent Stubblefield across the plate for a 3-1 advantage.
TinCaps starter Colin Rae didn't give up another hit after the homer by Ramirez. He allowed two hits, struck out three, and protected that 3-1 lead.
Duanel Jones hit a two-run homer off Kevin Shackelford in the top of the ninth inning to provide the TinCaps with a couple of insurance runs.
The runs turned out to be unnecessary for Fort Wayne. Johnny Barbato worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Matt Stites pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the game.
The teams will be off on Friday. Game Three of the Midwest League Championship Series is scheduled for Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Saturday, September 15. The Timber Rattlers have David Goforth as their scheduled starting pitcher. The TinCaps have named Frank Garces as their starting pitcher for Saturday. Game time is 6:05pm CDT.
Tune in for all the remaining Timber Rattlers playoff games on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com. Saturday's broadcast starts with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:45pm CDT.
Lee Orr (4th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Chad Pierce, 0 out)
Duanel Jones (1st, 1 on in 9th inning off Kevin Shackelford, 1 out)
Nick Ramirez (3rd, 0 on in 4th inning off Colin Rea, 2 out)
WP: Colin Rea (2-0)
LP: Chad Pierce (1-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.