GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Kane County Cougars held on to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2-1 on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers had great opportunities in both the seventh and ninth innings, but could not cash in with a key hit.
Tristen Lutz gave the Rattlers (24-31) the lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Wisconsin right-fielder tripled to right to score Gilbert Lara from first base for a 1-0 lead.
Kane County (28-25) went in front in the top of the fourth inning. Ernie De La Trinidad doubled to start the inning. Ryan Tufts followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Joey Rose grounded into a force play at second and beat the throw to first for an RBI fielder's choice as De La Trinidad scored to tie the game. Wisconsin starting pitcher Wilfred Salaman's night ended after walking Jorge Perez.
Reliever Carlos Herrera entered the game and got the second out of the inning, but walked Yan Sanchez to load the bases. Herrera had an 0-2 count on Jasrado Chisholm, but threw a wild pitch to allow Rose to score and the Cougars were up 2-1.
Jeff Bain, the starter for the Cougars left after six innings. He struck out seven and allowed one run on four hits.
The Rattlers put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh as Cougars reliever Erbert Gonzalez walked the first two batters he faced. A sacrifice bunt by Joantgel Segovia move the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position. However, Gonzalez struck out the next two batters to maintain the one-run cushion.
Wisconsin made it even more interesting in the ninth inning against Kane County close Matt Brill. Lutz was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Morrison drew a walk with one out and Segovia reached on an infield single to load the bases. Brill regrouped and struck out the next two batters to end the game and earn his sixth save of the season.
Kane County is 7-1 in eight games against Wisconsin in 2018.
The Timber Rattlers and Cougars will play game two of their series on Saturday night. Christian Taugner (1-4, 3.83) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Mack Lemieux (1-4, 4.96) is set to start for the Cougars. Game time at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium is 7:05pm.
The Timber Rattlers will celebrate the Milwaukee Bucks and have invited Bango, the Bucks Dancers, Bucks Grand Dancers, and the Hoop Troop to help out with the promotions at the ballpark for Bucks Night.
There will plenty more happening on a North Shore Bank Family Night with WIXX, too. Festival Foods presents the postgame fireworks. After the fireworks, children 14 and under may run the bases courtesy of Meijer.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are several ways to catch the action. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. Saturday's game is the debut of Timber Rattlers baseball on CW14 in Green Bay with an airtime if 7:00pm. 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.