BELOIT, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers trailed the Beloit Snappers 6-1 early in Monday's game at Pohlman Field. The team rallied back and took an 8-7 lead on a two-out, two-run homer by Jason Rogers in the top of the ninth only to see the Snappers tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and send the game to extra innings. But, Wisconsin prevailed 11-8 in 11 innings. Rogers led the Rattlers 20-hit attack with four hits of his own.
The Snappers (45-36 overall, 7-4 second half) struck for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Rattlers starting pitcher Brooks Hall gave up a walk to Adam Bryant and a single to Nate Roberts with one out. Michael Gonzales singled to left, but Chad Stang threw Bryant out at the plate for the second out and to keep the game scoreless.
However, after a wild pitch moved Roberts and Gonzales into scoring position, Daniel Ortiz doubled down the right field line to knock in both runners. Jairo Perez followed with a home run off the scoreboard in left-center for a 4-0 Beloit lead.
The Rattlers (44-37, 6-5) answered with a two out run of their own in the top of the third inning. Reggie Keen doubled with two outs and scored on a single by TJ Mittelstaedt.
But, the Perez made the score 6-1 with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the third.
Wisconsin chipped away with a single run in the fourth on consecutive doubles by Joey Paciorek and Stang. The Rattlers made the score 6-3 with an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning when an errant throw to second on a potential inning ending force play got away and allowed Mike Walker to score.
But, Lance Ray gave the Snappers an insurance run with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth and the Rattlers were down 7-3.
Then, the Rattlers rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Keen tripled with one out on a ball lost in the sun. He scored on a single by Mittelstaedt. One out later, Mike Walker singled to move Mittelstaedt into scoring position. Rogers singled to drive in Mittelstaedt and move Walker to third. Walker scored moments later on a wild pitch and the score was 7-6.
Rogers was up in the top of the ninth inning with two outs and Mittelstaedt at third base. The Rattlers DH slammed a 2-0 pitch to right for his first home run of the season and the Rattlers had their first lead of the game at 8-7.
Eric Marzec relieved for the bottom of the ninth inning and walked Wang-Wei Lin to start things for Beloit. After a sacrifice bunt and a hit batsman put runners on first and second, Gonzales sent a high chopper over the head of Greg Hopkins at third base. That base hit scored Lin to tie the game 8-8. It also moved the winning run around to third base. However, Marzec got out of the with a pair of fly outs to shallow right field to send the game to extra innings.
The Rattlers started the eleventh inning with Hopkins at the plate. He sent a grounder to short. But, the ball went through the legs of Daniel Santana and Hopkins was aboard on the fourth error of the game on the Snappers. Mike Walker took a walk. Then, Rogers reached on a bunt single as he tried to drop a sacrifice bunt, but the Snappers had miscommunication on their bunt defense and it was too late when someone did field it. That loaded the bases.
Paciorek was down 0-2 when he got a pitch on the inside corner. The Rattlers catcher lined it down the left field line for a double to drive in a pair of runs and give Wisconsin a 10-8 lead. Rogers would score on a wild pitch and the Rattlers were up 11-8.
Marzec worked a routine 1-2-3 bottom of the eleventh to close out the game and give the Rattlers their first extra inning victory in six tries this season.
The final game of the road trip is Tuesday night at Pohlman Field. Jimmy Nelson (3-7, 4.60) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Beloit has Manuel Soliman (3-4, 3.88) set to start. 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.
Jairo Perez (6th, 1 on in 1st inning, off Brooks Hall, 2 out)
Lance Ray (6th, 0 on in 6th inning, off Adrian Rosario, 0 out)
Jason Rogers (1st, 1 on in 9th inning, off Clinton Dempster, 2 out)
WP: Eric Marzec (3-1)
LP: Michael Tonkin (3-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.