GRAND CHUTE, WI - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Maverick Lasker and Adrian Rosario combined to hold the West Michigan Whitecaps to three hits and they got just enough offensive support for a 2-1 win Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field. The Rattlers pushed a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit. Wisconsin snapped a five game losing streak with the victory.
Lasker hit a bump in the road in the third inning. There was a runner at first with two outs when he walked Hernan Perez. Then, Rob Brantly reached on an error to load the bases. Clay Jones, who hit a grand slam in Wednesday's game, drew a four pitch walk from Lasker to force in the first run of Thursday's game.
But, that was it for the Whitecaps (43-46 overall, 11-9 second half).
The Rattlers (47-43, 9-11) were getting base runners, but could not dent the plate in the first five innings against Whitecaps starter Kyle Ryan. That changed in the sixth.
Reggie Keen started the rally with a one out single. TJ Mittelstaedt, who had three hits in the game, singled to right and sent Keen to third with the tying run. Mike Walker drove in Keen with a single to center and the Rattlers tied the game 1-1.
One out later, Cody Hawn stepped up with runners at second and third. The Rattlers first baseman had singled earlier in the game to extend his current hitting streak to 14 games. He added to his hit total with an infield single that sent Mittelstaedt across the pay station for a 2-1 Rattlers lead.
Lasker would toss a scoreless seventh inning before turning the game over to Rosario. After the walk to Jones in the third inning, Lasker retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced.
It would not be an easy eighth inning for Rosario. He allowed a hit and a walk to the first two batters he faced. A sacrifice bunt moved the tying and lead run into scoring position with two outs. But, Rosario struck out Jones for the second out and got a grounder from James Robbins to end the frame with the Rattlers still up 2-1.
The ninth would be a routine 1-2-3 inning for Rosario to nail down the win and for his first save of the season.
Wisconsin and West Michigan wrap up their series on Friday night. Jimmy Nelson (4-7, 4.58) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. The Whitecaps have Alex Burgos (4-1, 2.15) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Come out and celebrate the birthday of Timber Rattlers mascot Fang on Friday night. Area mascots will be at the ballpark to participate in a kickball game before the Timber Rattlers game. Since it is also a North Shore Bank Family Night, children 12 and under eat free. After the game, enjoy a fireworks display! After the fireworks, Fazoli's invites children 14 and under to participate in Kids Run the Bases.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show starting at 6:45pm.
WP: Maverick Lasker (1-2)
LP: Kyle Ryan (4-8)
SAVE: Adrian Rosario
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.