GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers cracked a season-high 18 hits and pounded out an 8-5 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Ben McMahan and Jason Rogers led the assault. McMahan had four hits - two doubles, a triple, and a single - and Rogers drove in four runs to propel the Rattlers to their ninth win in the last ten games.
Quad Cities (17-16) started the scoring with a two out RBI double by Anthony Garcia in the top of the first inning. Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Chad Thompson, who was the starting pitcher in a combined no-hitter on May 4 at Clinton, gave up a single to the first batter of the game. That runner came in to score on the double by Garcia.
Wisconsin (21-12) came right back in the bottom of the first on the strength of the duo of McMahan and Rogers. McMahan doubled with two outs and none on base. Then, Rogers singled him home to tie the game.
Thompson kept the River Bandits off the scoreboard until there were two outs in the fourth. He walked David Medina with two away and gave up a two-run homer to left to Luis Mateo for a 3-1 lead.
The Rattlers chipped away with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Yadiel Rivera doubled to start the fourth, but was at third with two outs. Chadwin Stang struck out with two gone, but the ball got away from the River Bandits catcher to allow Stang to reach first and Rivera to score. In the fifth, McMahan tripled to start the inning and Rogers drove him home with a single.
Mark Williams, who tossed the final four innings of the no-hitter at Clinton last week, entered the game in the top of the sixth and gave up singles to the first two River Bandits he faced. Williams got the next two batters, but gave up an RBI double to Garrett Wittels and Quad Cities was back in front 4-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Wisconsin bats went into high gear as the banged out five hits and scored four runs to take the lead for good. The barrage started with consecutive one out singles by Rafael Neda and John Dishon. Brandon Macias stepped in with two outs and Neda and Dishon still on base. Macias smacked a double just fair inside the line in left to score Neda with the tying run. McMahan was next and his infield single - his fourth hit of the night - scored Dishon to give the Rattlers a 5-4 lead.
McMahan would steal second to put two runners in scoring position for Rogers and Wisconsin's RBI leader delivered. He drove in both Macias and McMahan with a single for a 7-4 advantage.
Roberto De La Cruz got the Bandits back to within two runs with a one out homer in the seventh.
Dishon and Stang combined to score an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Dishon tripled and Stang drove a single through the drawn in infield. Stang's single meant that all nine Wisconsin hitters had at least one hit in the game.
But, the Bandits made a bid to rally in the top of the ninth. The first two batters reached with a walk and a double against Williams. The Rattlers right-hander got the first out with a shallow fly ball to right. Then, Seth Harvey took over.
The Rattlers closer came out of the bullpen and struck out De La Cruz and Garcia to end the game. Harvey has six saves this season.
Game two of the series is Thursday night. David Goforth (3-1, 4.250 is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Fond du Lac native Chad Pierce is set to come on in relief for Wisconsin. Sam Gaviglio (1-2, 5.04) is set to start for the River Bandits. Game time is 6:35pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a Rally Rattle from Time Warner Cable Sports32. Thursday also a night for college students to take advantage of $1 reserved bleacher tickets just for showing their college ID when they purchase the ticket.
All fans can enjoy 16oz soda and beer for just $2 as part of Thirsty Thursday presented by Slugger's Sports Bar! After the game, those in attendance can take their ticket stub to Sluggers Sports Bar - located in Super Bowl on Northland Avenue - to win Miller Lite drinks and prizes.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. The game is also available to MiLB.TV subscribers. Time Warner Cable Sports32 is also broadcasting the game.
Luis Mateo (3rd, 1 on in 4th inning off Chad Thompson, 2 out)
Roberto De La Cruz (3rd, 0 on in 7th inning off Mark Williams, 1 out)
WP: Mark Williams (1-3)
LP: Brandon Creath (2-2)
SAVE: Seth Harvey (6)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.