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We will conclude the countdown of the Top Five
Games of 2010 in two weeks...even though it is pretty obvious what #1 is going
to be. To ease us into the new year, here are six games from 2011 that are
Night: The first game of the 2010 season was postponed a day due to an
April snowfall. The Rattlers started the season on April 9 with a
doubleheader against the Kane County Cougars. In game one, Jeff Suppan got
the start, but it was the finish that makes this game memorable.
The Rattlers trailed 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. Chris
Dennis drove in Khris Davis with a single to tie the game. In the bottom
of the seventh, the Rattlers collected a walkoff win when Scooter Gennett's
infield single sent Joey
Paciorek home with the winning run.
Miss: Jake Odorizzi got the start at Burlington on April 16 and pitched
five no-hit innings. He hit a batter, walked a batter, and struck out
eight. Damon Krestalude took over in the bottom of the sixth inning with a
comfortable 6-0 lead. The lead was mainly due to the efforts of Pete Fatse,
who had knocked in half of the runs to that point of the game.
Krestalude retired the side in order in the sixth. Fatse hit a two run
homer in the seventh. Krestalude retired the side in order in the seventh
and the eighth. The Rattlers added one more run in the top of the ninth
for a 9-0 lead. Krestalude went out of the ninth and got the first two
batters. But, a two-out double down the third base line by Hilton
Richardson broke up the no-hitter. Krestalude struck out three and picked
up the four inning save.
Kyle Heckathorn had been on a roll heading into the June 6 start at Lake
County. He had four consecutive quality starts and three wins going into
this game, which was scheduled for seven innings due to the conclusion of a
suspended game from the night before. Cutter Dykstra hit a two-run homer
in the first inning for an early lead. Then, Heckathorn worked around some
early jams. He would go on to be pretty dominant against the eventual
Midwest League Champions. Heckathorn allowed an unearned run, struck out
three, and didn't walk a batter on the way to the complete game victory.
Wisconsin's offense struck out eight times, but they didn't need much more than
the homer from Dykstra
in the 4-1 win.
Heckathorn was at it again on June 19 at Kane County. He allowed a hit
over six shutout innings and struck out seven for his seventh straight quality
start. The Rattlers had an early 3-0 lead. Matt Costello worked a
scoreless seventh. Jon Pokorny came on in the eighth and gave up
back-to-back singles to start the inning, but worked out of the jam. A
five run top of the ninth, including a three-run double by Gennett, gave the
team an 8-0 lead. Pokorny struck out the side in order in the
bottom of the ninth to end the first half.
Why not include another Cedar Rapids game on this list? The Rattlers and
Kernels were playing in Cedar Rapids on July 4. A sudden, heavy squall
halted the game. When the groundscrew, front office, and Kernels players
could not get the tarp all the way on the field, there was some damage to the
playing surface and the game had to be suspended with the Rattlers trailing 4-3
with runners on second and third and only one out. Efrain Nieves came into
the game when it resumed on July 5 and walked the first batter to load the
bases. Then, he got a double play to end the threat. Nieves tossed
4-1/3 innings and allowed only one hit. The offense tied the game in the
sixth on a Chris Dennis homer. The Rattlers scored twice in the eighth to
go in front. Dennis doubled in a run and scored later in the frame on an
Pokorny made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff single
was followed by a pair of strikeouts. Then, a defensive indifference
allowed the leadoff man to take second and score on another single. A walk
put the tying run at second and the winning run at first. The count ran
full to Casey Haerther, but Pokorny ended the game with a strikeout to nail
down the win.
Strong: The Rattlers ended the 2010 season on Labor Day at Kane
County. Nick Bucci tossed seven shutout innings, allowed two hits, and
struck out four. Chris Dennis hit his eighteenth home run of the season
and drove in three runs and the Rattlers closed out the year with a 7-0
win over the Cougars.
# 5: Duck Hunting
#4: Drought Ending
#3: Big slugging
#2: Extra Inning
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.