LANSING, MI - Weston Wilson broke a scoreless tie with a grand slam in the top of the sixth inning to give the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers all the runs they would need in a 4-2 win over the Lansing Lugnuts at Cooley Law School Stadium on Saturday night. The win was the fourth straight for the Rattlers.
Both offenses couldn't get much going in the first five innings. That changed for Wisconsin (37-54 overall, 11-12 second half) in the sixth against Lansing starting pitcher Osman Gutierrez.
Trever Morrison started the inning with a walk. Carlos Belonis was next and he bunted for a base hit. A walk to Mario Feliciano loaded the bases for Wilson.
Gutierrez fell behind Wilson with a 2-1 count and Wilson crushed the next pitch over the wall in left-center for Wisconsin's first grand slam of the season. Wilson is 2-for-2 with a three-run double and a homer for seven RBI with the bases loaded for Wisconsin this season.
The Rattlers pitchers carried that 4-0 lead into the ninth inning. Drake Owenby started and allowed one hit over three innings before leaving on his pitch count. Thomas Jankins took over from the bullpen to make his first appearance since July 4. Jankins pitched four scoreless, hitless innings with a walk, two hit batsmen, and three strikeouts. Jordan Desguin took his turn on the mound to start the eighth inning and walked a batter in that frame but kept the Lugnuts off the board.
Desguin walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth, but got the next two outs. However, an infield single by Nick Sinay, which was Lansing's first hit since the third inning, kept the game alive. Rodrigo Orozco put the Lugnuts (44-45, 7-16) on the scoreboard with a double to right-center that scored both runners to cut Wisconsin's lead to 4-2 and brought the tying run to the plate.
Andrew Vernon entered the game as the Rattlers fourth pitcher of the night and he nailed down Wisconsin's fourth straight victory by getting Joshua Palacios to ground out to short to end the game.
The Timber Rattlers 11-5 against the Eastern Division this season, including 9-1 on the road.
Game two of the series is set for Sunday afternoon. Cameron Roegner (4-2, 4.47) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Andy Ravel (5-4, 7.48) is set to start for the Lugnuts. Game time is 1:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 12:45pm. The broadcast is also available on TuneIn Radio and IHeartRadio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.