GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers kept rolling as they defeated the Burlington Bees 8-2 on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The win was their sixth in the last seven games, got them above .500 with their overall record for the first time since
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers kept rolling as they defeated the Burlington Bees 8-2 on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The win was their sixth in the last seven games, got them above .500 with their overall record for the first time since April 10, and kept them in the thick of the second-half playoff race with time winding down in the 2019 Midwest League season.
Wisconsin (65-64 overall, 34-26 second half) jumped on the Bees with three runs in the first inning. Jesús Lujano doubled to start the inning. Connor McVey drew a walk. Thomas Dillard, the third batter of the inning, crushed a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer. Dillard's home run was his sixth of the season and he homered in the first inning in the last two games of the series with the Bees.
The Rattlers added to their lead with a run in the third inning. McVey was hit by a pitch and Dillard followed with a single to right to send McVey to third. David Fry was next and he lined a single to left and the Rattlers were up 4-0.
Burlington (63-67, 24-26) could not solve Wisconsin starting pitcher Ethan Small, the number one pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2019 draft. Small walked two and struck out seven over 3-2/3 innings. He left on his pitch limit with 66 pitches on the evening with 39 strikes.
The Bees loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Freisis Adames got a strikeout to end the inning and keep the Rattlers up by four runs.
Wisconsin added some insurance in the bottom of the seventh. Yeison Coca singled to knock in the first run of the inning. Lujano followed with an RBI double. McVey capped the inning with a two-run home run and the Rattlers were up 8-0.
The Bees got to Adames in the top of the eighth as they loaded the bases with one out this time. Ryan Vega doubled in two runs, but Adames retired the next two batters to finish the inning.
Wilfred Salaman closed out the game with a scoreless top of the ninth inning.
In the second-half Western Division playoff chase, the Rattlers picked up ground in the division race and kept pace in the wild card race. The division-leading Kane County Cougars had a 2-1 lead, but the Beloit Snappers scored four times in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Cougars 5-2 at Pohlman Field. The Clinton LumberKings, who currently hold the wild card spot, beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 6-3 at home to complete a three-game sweep of the Kernels. The Rattlers are within four games of the Cougars for the division lead and remain three games behind the LumberKings for the wild card. There are ten games left in the regular season.
The Timber Rattlers playoff quest enters its final stages with a four-game series against the Clinton LumberKings at NelsonCorp Field. Game one of the showdown series is Saturday night. Nick Bennett (1-0, 1.69) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Clinton has named Remey Reed (3-2, 3.65) as their starter. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and the TuneIn Radio app starting with the Papa John's Pizza Pregame Show at 6:10pm.