BURLINGTON, IA - The Burlington Bees scored three times in the first inning and three times in the third inning to give them enough offense to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6-4 Sunday afternoon at Community Field. Wade Hinkle and Chevy Clarke had big hits in both innings for the Bees.
Wisconsin (19-21) took the lead in the first inning. They had runners at the corners with no outs and Mitch Haniger grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to get the run home from third.
But, the Bees (15-24) scored three in the bottom of the first inning. Sherman Johnson drew a leadoff walk on four pitches. Hinkle doubled him in with a one out double. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and Clarke's infield single knocked in Hinkle for a 2-0 lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Tyler Wagner looked like he would get out of the inning with a double play after Zac Livingston sent a tapper back to the mound. Wagner's throw home got the force out, but the throw to first was wild and that allowed a run to score from second for a 3-0 advantage.
Burlington tacked on three more runs via the home run in the bottom of the third. Wagner walked Kyle Johnson on four pitches to start the inning. Hinkle hit the next pitch to left-center for a home run and a 5-1 lead for Burlington. Two outs later Chevy Clarke hit a solo home run and the Bees were up 6-1.
Wisconsin relievers Mike Strong and Martin Viramontes combined for five scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the Bees in check and give the bats a chance to get back into the game.
The Rattlers chipped away to get close. Parker Berberet tripled to start the fourth inning. An RBI grounder by Chris McFarland drove in Berberet to cut the lead to 6-2.
Orlando Arcia singled to start the fifth. He took second on a passed ball with one out. Mitch Haniger reached on two-out infield single and Arcia scored on an errant throw on the play. Later in the inning, Haniger scored on a wild pitch and the Rattlers were down only 6-4.
In the top of the eighth, Victor Roache singled and Berberet doubled with one out to put the tying runs in scoring position against Burlington reliever Eduard Santos. But, Santos struck out the next two batters to end the Rattlers threat.
Arcia doubled with one out in the top of the ninth against Burlington closer Jairo Diaz. But, Diaz got the final two outs to record his sixth save and send the Rattlers to their second straight loss.
Berberet ended the day 3-for-4 and was only missing a home run for the cycle.
Game four of the series is scheduled for Monday night. Damien Magnifico (4-0, 4.91) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Burlington has Alex Keudell (3-1, 2.49) set to start. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Wade Hinkle (4th, 1 on in 3rd inning off Tyler Wagner, 0 out)
Chevy Clarke (4th, 0 on in 3rd inning off Tyler Wagner, 2 out)
WP: Ryan Crowley (3-1)
LP: Tyler Wagner (4-2)
SAVE: Jairo Diaz (6)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.