GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had plenty of chances to comeback on Sunday against the Burlington Bees at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. They cashed in their final chance. Wisconsin stunned the Bees with five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pick up a 6-5 victory. Garrett Cooper completed the unlikely comeback with a two-out, two-run triple to drive in the tying and winning runs.
The Rattlers (44-56 overall, 15-20 second half) scored in the first inning. Victor Roache drew a walk with two outs. Mike Garza was next and he lined a triple to center for a 1-0 lead.
The Bees (39-61, 13-22) took the lead on one swing of the bat in the top of the third inning against Wisconsin starting pitcher Austin Ross. Wendell Soto walked with one out. Sherman Johnson hit the next pitch after the walk to the beach beyond the wall in right-center for a two-run home run. Wade Hinkle singled later in the inning to drive in the third run of the frame and Burlington was up 3-1.
Burlington tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the fifth against reliever Mike Strong. Johnson and Pedro Tiribio started the inning with consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. Tiribio stole second with Exicardo Cayones at the plate, but did not draw a throw, Cayones would single to drive in Johnson and second Tiribio to third. Then, Cayones stole second with Wade Hinkle at the plate. This steal did draw a throw, but the ball wound up in center to allow Tiribio to score for a 5-1 lead.
Bees starting pitcher Reid Scoggins gave up the Wisconsin run in the first inning. He allowed consecutive singles to Parker Berberet and Max Walla in the second inning. Scoggins allowed one more base runner in his time on the hill. Scoggins worked five innings, allowed three hits, and left with the 5-1 lead intact.
Wisconsin scraped together a rally in the sixth against Burlington reliever Joe Krehbiel. Tyrone Taylor and Victor Roache drew walks. A single by Garrett Cooper with one out loaded the bases. But, Wisconsin stranded all three runners in the sixth.
In the seventh against Curt Spomer, Orlando Arcia and Alfredo Rodriguez singled with one out, but the Rattlers did not score. In the eighth, Spomer hit Garza with a pitch to start the inning. Cooper would ground into a double play to kill the rally.
Chris O'Grady, the fourth Burlington pitcher of the day, came on in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rattlers loaded the bases against him. Max Walla started the inning with a single. Tyler Roberts and Arcia each drew walks to load the sacks. The Bees went to Cam Bedrosian after the walk to Arcia.
Rodriguez sent a grounder to short that was booted for an error to score Walla and keep the bases loaded. Tyrone Taylor was next and he sent a grounder to short. The Bees got the force at second, but the throw to first was low and wasn't handled. Roberts and Arcia both scored on the play to cut Burlington's lead to 5-4.
Roache stepped in as the winning run and fell behind in the count. Taylor took off for second on the 1-2 pitch to Roache. The offering was high for a ball and Taylor was thrown out at second for out number two of the inning.
Roache kept the inning alive with a single. Garza followed with another single to reach base as the winning run and set the stage for Cooper.
Bedrosian quickly put Cooper down 0-2 with two strikes. Then, Cooper sent a line drive to right. The Bees right fielder came in on the ball only to have the ball sail over his head and roll to the wall. Roache and Garza raced in with the tying and winning runs as Cooper pulled into third base with a game-winning triple.
The only other walkoff triple in Timber Rattlers history came on April 22, 2010. Michael Marseco delivered a two-run triple to defeat the Peoria Chiefs on that date.
Chris Razo, Milwaukee's 24th round pick in the 2013 draft out of Illinois State, pitched a perfect eighth and a perfect ninth to pick up the win in his Timber Rattlers debut.
Game three of the series is Monday night. Ryan Gibbard (4-2, 4.93) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Pat Lowery (3-6, 5.21) is the scheduled starter for the Bees. Game time is 7:05pm.
Monday is a Qdoba Q*Monday with 106.7 KRUZ. Purchase a lunch entrée at either Qdoba location in Appleton and receive a free ticket to any Monday home game during the 2013 season. Plus, it's a Jorge Lopez Player Poster Giveaway from Dunkin Donuts. The first 1,000 fans to attend the game will receive a poster of the Timber Rattlers starting pitcher. This is poster number nine in a series of ten from Dunkin Donuts that are being given away during the 2013 season.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel has the television broadcast starting at 7:00pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Sherman Johnson (4th, 1 on in 3rd inning off Austin Ross, 1 out)
WP: Chris Razo (1-0)
LP: Cam Bedrosian (1-4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.