BELOIT, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers trailed the Beloit Snappers 4-2 heading into the eighth inning Sunday night at Pohlman Field. That didn't matter. Wisconsin scored twice in the eighth and once in the ninth inning to rally for a 5-4 victory over their in-state rivals. The victory was the second straight for the Rattlers and fourth in their last five games.
The Timber Rattlers (43-37 overall, 5-5 second half) grabbed an early lead with an RBI single by Cody Hawn in the top of the first inning.
But, Beloit (45-35, 7-3) rallied back with two runs in the bottom of the first off Rattlers starting pitcher Maverick Lasker. Nate Roberts drove in the tying run with a triple. An RBI grounder by Michael Gonzales drove in Roberts to give Beloit a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin tied the game in the top of the second. Franklin Romero's RBI single sent Chad Stang home from third to make the score 2-2.
Lasker allowed one hit over the second, third, and fourth inning. But, he walked Jairo Perez, the leadoff batter, in the fifth. A single by Lance Ray put runners on first and second. Perez took off for third on a pickoff throw from Rattlers catcher Tony Pechek after a failed bunt attempt by Tobias Streich. Perez made it to third just ahead of the relay throw from the second base bag.
Streich worked Lasker to a 2-2 count after fouling off four two strike pitches. Then, he sent a fly ball to foul territory in right field. Romero made a nice running catch for the out, but his momentum carried him deeper into foul ground. The throw home was wide of the mark as Perez scored. Plus, Ray moved up to second on the throw to the plate.
A single by Daniel Santana moved Ray to third. Lasker got the second out on a pop up to short. But, an errant pickoff throw to first caromed off Santana into short right to allow Ray to score a run to make the score 4-2.
Wisconsin rallied to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning. TJ Mittelstaedt doubled to start the frame. Nick Shaw's single to left-center was misplayed and Mittelstaedt scored as Shaw took second base.
However, Shaw was only at third with two outs. Hawn made sure the opportunity was not wasted. The Rattlers first baseman dumped a single into right field to drive in Shaw with the tying run.
Romero set up the Rattlers go ahead run in the top of the ninth. He laced a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for a one out triple. Romero scored moments later on a passed ball for a 5-4 lead.
Rattlers closer Greg Holle entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventeenth save of the season.
Game two of the series is an Independence Day matinee at Pohlman Field. Wisconsin has Brooks Hall (4-1, 3.15) as the scheduled starting pitcher. Beloit will send Ryan O'Rourke (2-1, 1.84) to the mound. Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.
WP: Charly Bashara (3-3)
LP: Jose Gonzalez (4-2)
SAVE: Greg Holle (17)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.