BELOIT, WI - John Wooten hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the Beloit Snappers up 6-5 over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Tuesday night at Pohlman Field. The tarp went on the field moments later. Then, the skies opened up and loosed a severe downpour. The game was not resumed and the Snappers picked up a rain-shortened win over the Timber Rattlers.
Beloit (30-21) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on an odd play. They had Brett Vertigan at second and Daniel Robertson at first with one out. Renato Nunez lined a hard shot down the third base line that Mike Garza made a great diving stop to keep the ball from going into the left field corner for an extra base hit. Garza got up and looked to second, but had no play. Then, he threw to first, but he hit base umpire Nick Garvey, who was stationed in the center of the diamond as part of the two-umpire rotation in the Midwest League, with the throw. The ball trickled away from Garvey and by the time it was retrieved, a run had scored for a 1-0 lead.
Matt Olson drove in a more conventional run with a single for a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Wisconsin (22-25) rallied to take a 3-2 lead with three runs in the top of the second inning. Orlando Arcia doubled with two outs to knock in Adam Giacalone and send Clint Coulter to third. Tyrone Taylor hit a hard grounder to short and Daniel Robertson missed it for an error that scored two runs to put the Rattlers in front.
The Timber Rattlers added to their lead in the fourth inning. Coulter doubled to start the inning. Then, Garza tripled to right to drive in Coulter. Arcia singled through the drawn-in infield to send Garza home for a 5-2 advantage.
Wisconsin starting pitcher Ryan Gibbard struggled in the bottom of the fourth. He allowed a one out double to Sam Roberts and hit the next two batters to load the bases. Vertigan grounded into a force play at second to drive in Roberts and make the score 5-3. Then, Vertigan stole second with Daniel Robertson at the plate to get into scoring position.
Robertson sent a grounder to second, but the play was booted for an error and two runs scored to tie the game.
The Rattlers had a chance to go back in front in the top of the fifth inning. Parker Berberet was hit by a pitch with one out. Pinch-hitter Jose Sermo's fly ball dropped in for a double when the left fielder for the Snappers never saw the ball off Sermo's bat. That put runners on second and third with one out. Seth Streich, Beloit's starting pitcher, got out of the inning with a strikeout and a popup.
Jorge Lopez took over for Gibbard on the mound in the bottom of the fifth inning. His first pitch to Wooten was hit for a towering home run that cleared the left field wall for a 6-5 lead. The next batter singled on a 1-1 pitch.
At that point, the head grounds keeper came out to talk about the imminent storm. The umpires called for the tarp and lightning flashed in the sky above the stadium as the grounds crew raced the weather to get the cover on the field in time.
They just beat the rain and a heavy downpour began within five minutes of the game's delay. There were another thirty minutes of heavy rain before the game was called and the Snappers picked up the win.
Streich recorded five strikeouts and picked up his fifth win of the season. Lopez was the tough-luck loser and fell to 1-4.
The loss was the third straight for the Timber Rattlers.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday morning at Pohlman Field. Eric Semmelhack (1-1, 3.25) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Vince Voiro (2-1, 3.55) is scheduled to start for the Snappers. Game time is 11:00am. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 10:40am.
John Wooten (8th, 0 on in 5th inning off Jorge Lopez, 0 out)
WP: Seth Streich (5-2)
LP: Jorge Lopez (1-4)
TIME: 1:43 (:35 delay)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.