GRAND CHUTE, WI - It was a cool and rainy evening with the wind blowing out to right field for Thursday's game between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Peoria Chiefs at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The teams combined for six home runs, 27 hits, and 19 runs in the game, but it was the Rattlers who came out on top with an 11-8 victory. Monte Harrison continued to swing a hot bat as he had two homers and three RBI to lead the Rattlers back to .500.
Harrison gave the Timber Rattlers (7-7) the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Tucker Neuhaus drew a walk with two outs. Harrison was next and he lifted a towering, two-run home run to left and Wisconsin was up 2-0.
The Chiefs (6-7) got a run back in the top of the second. Ryan McCarvel singled with one out. Danny Hudzina followed with a double to left-center and the Chiefs had pulled to within 2-1.
Wisconsin scored two more runs in the bottom of the second. A hit batsman, a single, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs. Nathan Rodriguez lined a single to center to score the first run of the frame. Ryan Aguilar drove in the second run with a fielder's choice.
Peoria got a run in the top of the third. Tommy Edman tripled with one out. Andy Young singled to knock in Edman and the Rattlers lead was cut to two runs.
The game settled down for a few innings. Then, the offensive barrage began in the fifth.
The Chiefs tied the game 4-4 on a two-out, two run home run by Andrew Knizner. The Rattlers went back in front when they stole a run with two outs and Mario Feliciano at third and Ronnie Gideon at first. Gideon broke for second and drew a throw to get into a run down. Feliciano raced home and crossed the plate before Gideon was tagged for the third out and the Rattlers were up 5-4.
But, Peoria came back to tie the game in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Danny Hudzina.
Nathan Rodriguez put the Rattlers ahead to stay in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double. Demi Orimoloye gave Wisconsin a bigger cushion when he cracked a two-run home run, his fourth homer of the season, to score Rodriguez ahead of him.
The 8-5 lead wasn't long for this game as the Chiefs chipped away with a two-out rally in the seventh. Knizner doubled to get on base and Brian O'Keefe singled to get the run home to cut Wisconsin's lead back down to two runs.
Harrison stepped in to lead off the Wisconsin seventh an lined a homer down the right field line for his second homer of the night and fourth of the season. Gideon would be next and he doubled. Gilbert Lara added another tally for Wisconsin on a single to get Gideon home.
The Chiefs wouldn't go away. Matt Davis doubled with two outs in the eighth inning to keep the inning alive. Dylan Carlson followed with a two-run homer and the Rattlers were up 10-8.
Orimoloye doubled in the bottom of the eighth and was at third with one out. Feliciano cracked a single to center to score Orimoloye with the final run of the slugfest. The single by Feliciano also extended his current hitting streak to eight games, the longest streak on the team this season.
Rattlers reliever Luke Barker entered the game for the top of the ninth and gave up a leadoff single, but pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game thanks to a 4-6-3 double play and a groundout.
Harrison is on a six-game hitting streak. He is 11-for-23 (.478) with six RBI during the streak.
Game two of the series is Friday night. Cameron Roegner (0-0, 14.54) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Peoria has named Ian Oxnevad (0-1, 5.19) as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm.
Arty's Old Fashioned drinks will be available to fans over 21 for $3 as part of Arty's Old Fashioned Fridays with WIXX. Children 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases thanks to Menasha Corporation after the game.
If you can't make it to the ballpark on Friday, there are several ways to catch the action. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:15pm. The broadcast is also available on TuneIn Radio, IHeartRadio, and MiLB.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.