MIDLAND, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored four runs in the first inning and had a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday night at Dow Diamond against the Great Lakes Loons. The Loons scored three runs in their last at bat and had the bases loaded, but the Rattlers held on for the 5-3 win to give them a three-game sweep of their Eastern Division foes.
Wisconsin (36-54 overall, 10-12, second half) pounced on the Loons in the first inning as they scored four runs. Great Lakes starting pitcher AJ Alexy got the first out with a strikeout. The next three Rattlers reached base as Demi Orimoloye doubled, Mario Feliciano singled, and Weston Wilson walked. Tucker Neuhaus was next and he crushed a 3-2 pitch from Alexy off the wall in center to drive in all three runners. Neuhaus took third on the throw to the plate. Devin Hairston cashed in Neuhaus with a sacrifice fly to center to put the Rattlers up 4-0.
Rattlers starting pitcher Josh Pennington was scheduled to go three innings in the game and he navigated the distance on just 33 pitches. He allowed two hits, struck out two, and walked none over his three scoreless frames.
The Rattlers added a run in the top of the fifth inning. Joantgel Segovia drew a walk to knock Alexy out of the game. He would steal second base with reliever Vinny Santarsiero on the mound. Then, Feliciano doubled to knock in Segovia for a 5-0 lead.
Carlos Herrera took over for Pennington to start the bottom of the fourth inning and he tossed four scoreless, hitless innings. The Loons (44-47, 8-14) managed to draw four walks against Herrera, but could do nothing with the free passes.
Miguel Sanchez was the third Wisconsin pitcher of the night and he walked a batter in the eighth, but got out of the frame without any damage. He was not so lucky in the ninth.
Sanchez got the first out, but walked the next two batters. Cristian Santana followed with a single, the third hit of the game for Great Lakes, to drive in the first run of the inning. An errant throw on a tapper up the first base line off the bat of Mitchell Hansen allowed a second run to score. Then, Sanchez walked Stevie Berman to reload the bases. That would be all for Sanchez.
Colton Cross entered the game from the Wisconsin bullpen and got Gavin Lux to line out to center for a sacrifice fly. The runner from third scored to make the score 5-3, but it was the second out of the ninth.
However, Cross would walk Saige Jenco, the ninth walk by Wisconsin pitching on the evening, to reload the bases and put the winning run on base.
Cross would finally close out the Loons by getting Cody Thomas, the ninth Great Lakes batter to hit in the inning, to popup to first to end the game
The win gave the Timber Rattlers their first three-game winning streak since they swept a three-game series at Lake County May 11-13. The Loons have lost eight straight games.
Wisconsin continues its road trip on Saturday night against the Lansing Lugnuts. Drake Owenby (0-0, 3.86) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Osman Gutierrez (2-6, 9.98) is set to start for the Lugnuts. Game time at Cooley Law School Stadium is 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 5:45pm. 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.