GRAND CHUTE, WI - A windy Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities wasn't over until Nick Ramirez said that it was. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers first baseman rescued the Rattlers be delivering a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to send Wisconsin to a 7-6 win over the Kane County Cougars.
The wind was howling out to left field at 25mph at the start of the game with gusts reaching over 30mph. But, the wind didn't come into play until much later in the game.
Kane County (23-21) took advantage of a Wisconsin error in the top of the second inning. Lane Adams reached on a throwing error to start the frame. Michael Antonio doubled in Adams for a 1-0 lead. The inning could have spiraled out of control as Wisconsin starting pitcher David Goforth walked the next two batters to load the bases with one out. But, he escaped with a strikeout and a popup.
Wisconsin (27-17) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Max Walla walked to start the inning and Jason Rogers followed with an infield single. An error on the play allowed Walla to take third base. Ramirez looped a single in just over the glove of the Cougars third baseman to send Walla home and make the score 1-1.
The Cougars manufactured a run in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead. A single, a balk, and a fly ball moved a runner to third base. Adams made it 2-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Kane County starting pitcher Brooks Pounders allowed the one run on four hits and struck out eight Timber Rattlers through six innings. The offense picked up when Pounders left the game.
Robinson Yambati immediately got into trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning. Greg Hopkins started the inning with a single and a wild pitch moved him to second base. Ben McMahan reached on an error to put runners at the corners. Yadiel Rivera dumped a single into center and Hopkins scored the tying run. Tyler Roberts was next and the Rattlers catcher sent a high fly ball to left that the jet stream carried out of the ballpark for a three-run home run and a 5-2 Wisconsin lead.
Chad Pierce, who came on in relief of Goforth for the sixth inning, gave up three straight singles - one a wind-blown infield popup - in the top of the eighth and the Cougars had the bases loaded with no outs. He limited the damage to a run scoring sacrifice fly by Murray Watts and an RBI groundout by Edul Escobar as Kane County cut the lead to a single run.
Pierce went back out for the top of the ninth inning and retired the first two batters of the frame. But, he gave up a single to Jorge Bonifacio and was replaced by closer Seth Harvey, who would face Adams.
Harvey missed with the first pitch and Adams hit his second pitch over the Kane County bullpen beyond the wall in left-center for a long, two-run home run and a 6-5 Cougars lead.
Yambati went back out for the bottom of the ninth inning and had two outs with a runner at first base. Then, he walked Walla and Chadwin Stang on full counts to load the bases.
Ramirez, who had a "walkoff" single in the tenth inning to beat Burlington on May 16, didn't waste time to send everyone home happy. He lined the first pitch of his at bat to right to score the tying and winning runs.
The Timber Rattlers had four "walkoff" wins in 70 home games in 2011. This Sunday was the fifth of the 2012 season for the Rattlers and it came in their 28th home game of the year.
As an added bonus for Wisconsin, the Beloit Snappers lost 12-0 at Burlington on Sunday. The Rattlers and Beloit entered Sunday tied for the lead in the Midwest League's Western Division. Wisconsin now has a one game lead on the Snappers and a four game advantage over Kane County.
The final game of the series - and the homestand - is Monday afternoon. Left-hander Will West will make his Timber Rattlers debut as the starting pitcher. Kane County sends Aaron Brooks (3-4, 5.36) to the mound. Game time is 12:05pm.
A day game means there is a Baker Tilly Business Persons Special. Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $11.50 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog. This ticket offer is also available to senior citizens.
Monday is also a B104.7 Qdoba Q*Monday. Fans receive a free ticket to any Monday home game on the 2012 schedule when they purchase a lunch entrée at the Qdoba by the Fox River Mall.
If you can't make it out to the game on Monday, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:45am. Monday's game may also be viewed by subscribers of MiLB.TV or Sports32 on Time Warner Cable systems.
Lane Adams (3rd, 1 on in 9th inning off Seth Harvey, 2 out)
Tyler Roberts (3rd, 2 on in 7th inning off Robinson Yambati, 0 outs)
WP: Seth Harvey (3-0)
LP: Robinson Yambati (1-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.