SOUTH BEND, IN - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers used five home runs to build a lead on Sunday at Four Winds Field against the South Bend Silver Hawks. But, it was patience and soft singles the helped the Rattlers break a 7-7 with four runs in the top of the eighth inning on the way to an 11-7 victory.
Clint Coulter put the Rattlers (6-4) in front with a leadoff home run in the second inning. The homer was the third of the season and second in as many days for Coulter, but he wasn't done.
The Wisconsin catcher came up in the third inning with two on base and lifted another deep, no-doubt home run to left field. The three-run home run gave Coulter three homers and eight RBI in the last two days.
Later in the inning, Taylor Brennan crushed his own home run. This one was a solo shot and the Rattlers were up 5-0.
South Bend (4-6) got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on a two-run home run by Zach Esquerra.
Michael Ratterree got into the long ball act in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to left and Wisconsin was up 6-2.
The Hawks cut into the lead again in the bottom of the fifth. Andrew Velazquez tripled and scored on a groundout by Jamie Westbrook. Rattlers starting pitcher Zach Quintana left after the fifth inning with the lead.
In the sixth, South Bend rallied for a run off Wisconsin reliever Tyler Linehan. Esquerra walked and went to second on a wild pitch. Colin Bray drove in Esquerra with a double and the Rattlers were up 6-4.
Chris McFarland padded the Rattlers advantage back to 7-4 with a two-out solo home run to left. McFarland's second home run of the season was the fifth home run in the game for the Rattlers. The last time Wisconsin hit five home runs in a game was on June 8, 2007 at Kane County. The Rattlers lost that game 11-8.
South Bend tried to repeat history by scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh. Linehan got the first out, but a double and two walks loaded the bases. Esquerra was at the plate and he sent a grounder to third. Brennan picked the grounder and stepped on third for the second out, but his throw to first for the inning-ending double play was wild. Two runs scored and Esquerra wound up a second base. Bray tied the game with a single to center.
Wisconsin regrouped in the top of the eighth. David Denson and Johnny Davis drew back-to-back walks with one out. Omar Garcia loaded the bases with a single to left. Francisco Castillo put the Rattlers back in front with a bloop single to left-center that scored Denson.
Ratterree drew a walk to force in Davis from third for the second run. A wild pitch let Garcia score for a 10-7 lead. McFarland capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to scored Castillo.
Harvey Martin came out of the Rattlers bullpen and closed out the game with two scoreless innings.
Wisconsin concluded their six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. They won two-of-three at West Michigan and South Bend.
The Timber Rattlers return home to begin a six-game homestand with three games against the Lansing Lugnuts and three more against the Great Lakes Loons at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Rattlers match up with the Lugnuts first with a 6:35pm game on Monday. Taylor Williams (1-0, 0.00) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Jairo Labourt (0-0, 4.26) is set to start for Lansing.
Monday is a Qdoba Q*Monday. Purchase a lunch entrée at either Appleton Qdoba location tomorrow and you will receive a free ticket that may be redeemed at any Monday home game for the rest of the 2014 regular season.
If you can't make it out to the game, there are several ways to catch the Timber Rattlers action. MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown will have the game on television starting with the pregame show at 6:00pm. The radio call may be caught on AM1280, WNAM or IHeart Radio beginning with that pregame show at 6:15pm. The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.tv.
Clint Coulter (3rd, 0 on in 2nd inning off Austin Platt, 0 out)
Clint Coulter (4th, 2 on in 3rd inning off Austin Platt, 1 out)
Taylor Brennan (2nd, 0 on in 3rd inning off Austin Platt, 2 out)
Michael Ratterree (2nd, 0 on in 5th inning off Austin Platt, 0 out)
Chris McFarland (2nd, 0 on in 7th inning off Ben Eckles, 2 out)
Zach Esquerra (1st, 1 on in 4th inning off Zach Quintana, 1 out)
WP: Tyler Lineha (1-1)
LP: Ben Eckels (0-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.