GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattler and Beloit Snappers played a marathon on Thursday night in the final game between the teams in the first half of the Midwest League season. The Snappers outlasted the Timber Rattlers 8-7 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Hunter Hargrove gave Beloit (16-19) the lead in the top of the first inning. Trace Loehr had walked and stole second base earlier in the inning. Hargrove lined a two-out double to left to score Loehr and the Snappers were up 1-0.
The Rattlers (18-22) went in front with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning in which the Rattlers didn't have a hit. Tristen Lutz started the rally with a walk. Then, Payton Henry was hit by a pitch. Pat McInerney drew a walk to load the bases.
Beloit starting pitcher Jean Ruiz forced in two runs by hitting both KJ Harrison and Gabriel García and the Rattlers were up 2-1.
Wisconsin added to their lead in the fourth inning when McInerney drew a bases loaded walk from reliever Heath Bowers.
The Snappers stormed back with five runs in the top of the fifth and knocked Wisconsin starter Dylan File out of the game. Beloit had runners at second and third with one out and Mickey McDonald at the plate. File uncorked a pair of wild pitches to allow both runners to score and the Snappers had tied the game.
The rally continued after McDonald walked and the Rattlers booted a potential inning-ending double play ball and the Snappers had runners at first and second. Lazaro Armenteros cracked a single to center to score McDonald with the lead run. The throw to third to attempt to get the runner got away and that run scored while Armenteros raced for third and made it. That chased File from the game.
Jose Cuas relieved File and allowed a sacrifice fly to Hargrove that scored Armenteros for a 6-3 lead.
The Rattlers chipped away with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Pat McInerney drew a bases loaded walk.
Wisconsin loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning, but could not score.
Beloit loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh inning and added two insurance runs. Austin Beck provided the big hit with a two-run single to give the Snappers an 8-4 advantage.
McInerney gave the Rattlers a little life in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out solo home run to left. The homer was the seventh of the season for McInerney.
Wisconsin made a last gasp rally in the bottom of the ninth inning as Gilbert Lara doubled and Devin Hairston tripled to get the first run of the inning home. Roscetti got Hairston home with a grounder and the Rattlers were within on run, but there were two outs and none on base. The Rattlers rally fell short as Seth Martinez got the final out on a grounder to short.
Beloit won the five-game series from the Rattlers. Wisconsin won the first two games of the set with the Snappers winning the final three games.
The Timber Rattlers welcome the Burlington Bees to town to start a three-game series at Neuroscience Group Field on Friday night. Christian Taugner (0-4, 4.50) is scheduled to start for the Rattlers. Game time is 6:35pm.
The Rattlers celebrate LEGO Night on Friday and the first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a mini-figure of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who was a Timber Rattler in 2011, courtesy of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Friday night is also an Arty's Old Fashioned Friday with WIXX. Arty's Old Fashioned drinks will be available to fans 21 and over for $3.
Children 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases thanks to Menasha Corporation after the game.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are several ways to follow the action. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:15pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. Subscribers to MiLB.tv can watch the game over the internet.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.