BELOIT, Wisc- The Snappers closed out the 2016 season in style as they belted three long balls en route to a 4-3 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Monday afternoon.
Wisconsin took the quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Troy Stokes Jr. took a Brendan Butler offering over the center field wall for a solo home run.
The lead ballooned to 3-0 one inning later. Jonathan Oquendo and Luis Aviles ripped consecutive singles to start the run scoring inning. Alan Sharkey then hit a chopper to second baseman Trent Gilbert, who made a throwing error which put the Snappers in a bases loaded no out jam. Nathan Rodriguez hit a comebacker to Butler, who got the force out at home for a pivotal first out.
Carlos Belonis hitting in the nine spot came through with a two-run single into center field. Butler got out of the jam with no further damage as he induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Stokes Jr.
Wisconsin had a chance to get major separation in the top of the third. Jake Gatewood drew a one-out walk. Aviles singled and Sharkey worked a walk to load the bases with two outs. Butler then got the biggest out of the game as he retired Rodriguez on a groundout to keep the Snappers within striking distance.
The Snappers got power on a long ball from a rare source in the bottom of the third. Jesus Lopez drew a five pitch walk to open the frame. Trace Loehr stepped to the plate and launched a two-run homer to right center to cut the Timber Rattlers' lead to 3-2. That long ball was a rare sight to see as it was Loehr's first long ball of the season.
The Snappers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on one swing of the bat. Robert Martinez drilled a solo shot over the 16 foot high wall in center field to even the game at three.
The home run theme continued in the bottom of the eighth. Gilbert made up for his error in a big way as he tattooed the game-winning solo bomb to right center to give Beloit a 4-3 lead.
The Timber Rattlers got the tying-run on base in the top of the ninth. Timber Rattlers' leadoff hitter Trent Clark opened the inning with a base hit into left field. Clark then tried to steal second base but was nailed by catcher Roger Gonzalez for a crucial first out. Nolan Blackwood then struck out Stokes Jr. swinging and Corey Ray on a lineout to end the game.
Butler went five innings surrendering six hits, two walks, three runs and two earned runs while punching out six Timber Rattlers in a no decision. Blackwood got the win (2-2) in relief as he went two shutout frames surrendering two hits and no walks while recording three strikeouts.
Martinez led the Snappers' offensive attack going 2-for-4, a run scored and a RBI. Skye Bolt also went 2-for-4 for the Snappers. Beloit pounded out eight hits in the contest.
The Snappers end the second half at 27-43 and finish with an overall record of 59-80.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and are a fourth year Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Stay tuned to the team website and social media for all up to date information. For ticket information, contact the Snappers' offices at 608-362-2272 or visit our website at www.snappersbaseball.com.
The Snappers thank all the fans that have supported Beloit baseball. The Snappers hope to see you next April at Pohlman Field.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and are a fourth year Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Stay tuned to the team website and social media for all up to date information. For ticket information, contact the Snappers' offices at 608-362-2272 or visit our website atwww.snappersbaseball.com.
Written by: Derek Hoesly
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.