Martínez hits RBI single in bottom of the tenth for 7-6 victory as Wisconsin comes back twice against Peoria
Ernesto Martinez Jr is about to be mobbed by his teammates after hitting a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning to give Wisconsin a 7-6, walkoff win over the Peoria Chiefs on Opening Night 2022.
(Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Nick Guenther)
April 9, 2022
GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were down, but never out in their season-opening game against the Peoria Chiefs on Saturday evening at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers trailed 5-0 after 5-1/2 innings, were held hitless through seven innings, and saw Peoria take a
GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were down, but never out in their season-opening game against the Peoria Chiefs on Saturday evening at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers trailed 5-0 after 5-1/2 innings, were held hitless through seven innings, and saw Peoria take a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth in the contest. Ernesto Martínez Jr. capped the comeback with a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the tenth to give Wisconsin the victory.
Peoria (0-1) took the lead with back-to-back home runs in the top of the second inning. Aaron Antonini cracked a two-run home run to right with one out. Tommy Jew hit the next pitch just over the wall in left and the Chiefs were up 3-0.
The Chiefs added to their lead in the sixth. Jacob Buchberger opened the inning with a single and Carlos Soto followed with a double. Antonini was next and he lined a single to left-center to put Peoria ahead 5-0.
Wisconsin (1-0) couldn’t solve Peoria starting pitcher Michael McGreevey over five innings. McGreevey, the #1 pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021, walked one, struck out five, and didn’t allow a hit over five innings.
The Timber Rattlers scratched single runs across the plate in the bottom of the sixth and the bottom of the seventh without the benefit of a hit against the Chiefs bullpen. In the sixth, Darrien Miller reached on an error and would eventually score from third base on an RBI grounder by Tyler Black. In the seventh, Martínez drew a walk, took second on a balk, moved to third on a grounder, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ethan Murray.
Tristan Peters cracked a leadoff double in the eighth for Wisconsin’s first hit and that really jump started the offense. Black knocked in Peters with a one-out single. Joe Gray Jr. nearly tied the game with a line drive that just missed clearing the wall in left and he had to settle for an RBI double. A hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases for the Rattlers. Then, Carlos Rodríguez tied the game 5-5 with a sacrifice fly to left to score Gray.
Cam Robinson, the fourth Wisconsin pitcher of the night, retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the ninth, but committed a throwing error to allow Masyn Wynn to reach second base. LJ Jones doubled off the wall in left to score Wynn and the Chiefs had a 6-5 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Wisconsin wasn’t fazed by a one-run deficit. Miller was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the ninth and Yeison Coca entered as a pinch-runner. Coca took off for second on a pitch in the dirt that barely got far enough away from Antonini behind the plate. Coca just beat the throw. He would advance to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield by Peters.
Sal Frelick, the #1 pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021, delivered the tying run with a single on an 0-2 over the drawn-in infield to score Coca and send the game to extra innings.
Robinson left the bases loaded in the top of the tenth to set the stage for the bottom of the inning.
Black started the inning at second base and moved to third on a flyout. Martínez jumped on a 2-1 pitch and lined it to right-center to score Black with the winning run and the Rattlers celebrated the walkoff win to open the 2022 season.
Martínez went 1-for-2 with three walks, a run scored, and an RBI in his Timber Rattlers debut.
Sunday is a scheduled doubleheader with game one starting at 1:10pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin has named Brandon Knarr as their starting pitcher in game one with TJ Shook set to start the nightcap. Peoria will go with Gordon Graceffo in the opener and Dionys Rodríguez in game two as their starting pitchers.
The All-Fan Bobblehead Giveaway that was planned for Friday night has been moved to Sunday. Each fan that enters the stadium for the game will receive one of three unique vintage bobbleboy figures courtesy of Pepsi and Asphalt Seal & Repair. The parking lot opens at 10:30am with the gates to the stadium opening at 11:30am.
There is more activity for fans to attend Sunday’s twinbill. There is Catch on the Field presented by Chick-fil-A from noon to 12:30pm. Timber Rattlers players and coaches will wear their Brewers Sunday jerseys for the first time this season for one of the games against the Chiefs. Brewers Sunday is sponsored by 107.5, The Fan. TundraLand’s Autograph Sunday is back with a player autograph session for fans after game two.
If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, the radio broadcast of both game is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the pregame show at 12:50pm. The game is also available through internet audio and on MiLB.tv.