CLINTON, IA - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitchers Matt Miller and Tyler Cravy teamed up to strikeout thirteen Clinton LumberKings batters on Wednesday night. Four different Wisconsin hitters provided an RBI and the first half Western Division Champion Rattlers beat Clinton 4-2 at Ashford University Field. The win was the sixth in a row for the Timber Rattlers and pushed the team to twenty games over .500 for the first time since 2001.
Miller, the starter for Wisconsin, got the first two outs of the bottom of the first inning, but a walk and an infield single extended the inning to Ramon Morlan. The LumberKings (23-42) took a 1-0 lead on a run scoring bloop single to center by Morlan.
Wisconsin (43-23) came right back in the top of the second and Ben McMahan led the way. McMahan extended his hitting streak to six games with a leadoff homer in the second. McMahan's fourth home run of the season tied the game 1-1. Yadiel Rivera followed with a double. Tyler Roberts, playing his first game since May 23, celebrated his activation from the disabled list by sending a single to right-center to knock in Rivera with the go ahead run.
Wisconsin tacked on single runs in the third and fourth innings. Jason Rogers doubled to start the third inning, took third on a passed ball, and scored on a Greg Hopkins sacrifice fly. In the fourth, Chadwin Stang reached on a two-out error. Brandon Macias doubled to left to send Stang home for a 4-1 lead.
Miller preserved the three run lead as he kept the LumberKings off the scoreboard in his final five innings of work. Miller struck out eight to match his single game high as professional and walked just one over his six innings against Clinton.
Cravy entered the game in the seventh inning and worked a 1-2-3 frame. But, he ran into trouble in the eighth. Jamal Austin reached second on an error to start the inning. McMahan kept the score at 4-1 for a moment when he threw Austin out at the plate after a single to left by Ji-Man Choi. But a two-out walk let Morla come to the plate again in an RBI spot. The LumberKings third baseman singled to get Choi home to cut Wisconsin's lead to two runs.
Clinton would get no closer. Cracy got a strikeout to end the eighth, struck out two more in the ninth, and worked around a two-out single by getting the final out on a fly ball to right. Cravy earned his first professional save by working the final three innings. He also struck out five in the game.
The Timber Rattlers conclude their series with the LumberKings Thursday night. Drew Gagnon (5-1, 2.66) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Ambioris Hidalgo (2-8, 5.04) is set to start for the LumberKings. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
Ben McMahan (4th, 2nd inning off Trevor Miller, 0 out)
WP: Matt Miller (5-5)
LP: Trevor Miller (3-5)
SAVE: Tyler Cravy (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.