GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had the majority of scoring opportunities late in Friday's game against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. But, Fort Wayne scored two runs in the top of the thirteenth inning to defeat Wisconsin 8-6 Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Mallex Smith drew a walk to start the game for the TinCaps (50-40 overall, 7-14 second half). He stole second, his 34th stolen base of the season, and moved to third on an infield grounder. Diego Goris drove Smith home with another infield grounder and the TinCaps had the lead in the first inning.
Mike Garza walked to start the Timber Rattlers half of the second inning. He stole second with one out. Max Walla knocked in Garza to tie the game with a single to right.
Fort Wayne went back in front in the top of the fourth inning. Dane Phillips doubled just inside the line in left field with one out. Chris Burke followed with a home run to center and the TinCaps were up 3-1.
Wisconsin (38-48, 9-12) rallied to take their first lead of the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Walla and Tyler Roberts each singled with one out. Orlando Arcia tripled to left-center to drive in both runners to tie the game. Then, Alfredo Rodriguez dropped a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to let Arcia score the run that put the Rattlers up 4-3.
But, Fort Wayne strung together three straight hits off Rattlers starter Eric Semmelhack in the top of the sixth to go back in front. Phillips singled with one out. Burke followed with a single that put runners on the corners. Corey Adamson singled to send Phillips home with the tying run. The hit also allowed Burke to take third and when the throw went through to third, Adamson went to second base. An RBI grounder by Luis Domoromo allowed Burke to score and the TinCaps were up 5-4.
Fort Wayne added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. Reliever Mike Strong walked Brian Adams on a close 3-2 pitch to start the inning. Smith sacrificed him to second base with a bunt. Maxx Tissenbaum singled to center and the TinCaps were up 6-4.
Wisconsin loaded the bases with two outs against a pair of Fort Wayne relievers in the bottom of the eighth inning. Trevor Gott retired the first two batters of the inning. Then, Victor Roache drew a four pitch walk and Mike Garza singled. Fort Wayne brought left-handed reliever Chris Nunn into the game to face Rattler lefty Adam Giacalone. Nunn walked Giacalone on four pitches to load the bases. That brought Walla, another left-handed hitter in the Rattlers lineup to the plate.
Walla cracked a single to left field to score Roache. Garza tried to score by Domoromo's throw to the plate was in time for the third out of the inning and the Rattlers were down 6-5 heading to the ninth.
Arcia got the rally started in the bottom of the ninth inning with a one out single against Fort Wayne closer Roman Madrid. He stole second to get into scoring position. Rodriguez singled to center and Arcia raced home with the tying run.
Rodriguez took second on the throw to the plate so the TinCaps elected to walk Michael Reed intentionally to set up a potential double play. Tyrone Taylor stepped in and sent a fly ball down the left field line. Domoromo ran it down with a fine running catch for the second out of the inning. Victor Roache was the last out of the inning as he was ruled to have gone around on a check swing for strike three.
Walla picked up his fourth hit of the night with a two out double in the bottom of the tenth. Roberts battled Madrid to a full count and sent a bloop to shallow right-center, but Adamson raced in to make a sliding, game-saving catch to send the game to the eleventh.
Rodriguez doubled with one out in the bottom of the eleventh against Matt Chabot, the sixth Fort Wayne pitcher of the night. The TinCaps again walked Reed to set up the double play. Taylor scalded a slicing, one-hopper to short that Tyler Stibblefield dove to stop and turn into an inning-ending double play.
Neither team threatened in the twelfth inning.
Taylor Wall, Wisconsin's fourth pitcher of the game, gave up back-to-back singles to start the TinCaps thirteenth. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base. Wisconsin elected to walk the next batter to load the bases for a potential inning ending double play of their own. Wall went to a full count with Domoromo and just missed with the 3-2 pitch to force in the go ahead run.
Fort Wayne added an insurance run when Stubblefield's line drive deflected off the glove of Wall and the Rattlers got a force play at second.
Rodriguez doubled with two outs in the bottom of the thirteenth, but Chabot got the final out of the game to deny the Rattlers a three-game sweep of the TinCaps.
The Timber Rattlers continue their homestand on Saturday night with game one of a series with the Lake County Captains, the Midwest League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Tyler Wagner (7-7, 3.63) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Lake County has Jake Sisco (4-6, 3.69) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:35pm.
The Fox River Mall presents Meet a Storybook Princess Night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Saturday. Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Tiana, and Sleeping Beauty will be available throughout the game for a meet and greet with photos for all fans. Also, the first 500 girls to attend the game receive a princess tiara and wand.
It's a Fly Away Saturday, too. That means one lucky fan will win airfare for two from Funjet Vacations and Fox World Travel at this game. Plus, FOX 11 presents a postgame fireworks display!
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are several ways to catch the action. My NEW32's Sports Showdown will have the television broadcast starting with their pregame show at 6:00pm. The radio broadcast can be heard on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Saturday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Chris Burke (4th, 1 on in 4th inning off Eric Semmelhack, 1 out)
WP: Matt Chabot (3-1)
LP: Taylor Wall (1-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.