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Rattlers can't hold lead and drop 8-5 decision in Burlington

June 23, 2012
June 23, 2012 BURLINGTON, IA - In a game of rallies, the Burlington Bees got the last one and beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8-5 Saturday night at Community Field. Eliezer Mesa's two-out, three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Bees a 6-5 lead and the Burlington bullpen held on for the win. The loss was the fourth straight for Wisconsin.

Burlington (35-37 overall, 2-0 second half) grabbed the early lead against Rattlers starting pitcher Drew Gagnon. There were two runners on with one out in the bottom of the first inning when Landaeta struck. The Bees first baseman hit a fly ball down the left field line that just stayed fair for a three-run homer and a 3-0 lead.

Wisconsin (44-27, 0-2) got their first run of the game with a home run of their own. Ben McMahan hit a solo homer with one out in the fourth inning for the Rattlers first hit of the game.

The Rattlers came out swinging in the fifth inning. Bees starter Seth Frankoff recorded the first out. The next six Wisconsin batters connected with hits. Chadwin Stang singled to start the rally. Wisconsin caught a big break on Greg Hopkins bloop single to right. Stang was running on the pitch and started to head back to first when it looked Bobby Crocker would make the catch. Crocker trapped the ball and should have forced Stang at second. But, the throw was wild and both runners stayed alive.

Brandon Macias followed with a single to left field to drive in Stang and send Hopkins to third. However, Macias got caught in a rundown trying to advance to second on the throw to third.

Mitch Haniger was at the plate with Hopkins at third base. Before Haniger could take the bat off his shoulder, Hopkins scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 3-3.

Haniger restarted the rally with a single to left. That was the first professional hit for Milwaukee's supplemental first round pick in the 2012 draft. Haniger had two hits and a walk in five plate appearances on Saturday night. Nick Ramirez continued the hit parade with a single to knock Frankoff out of the game.

McMahan greeted reliever Drew Tyson with a double off the wall in left-center to score a pair of runs and put Wisconsin in front 5-3.

Gagnon held the Bees in check until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Burlington had nobody on base when number nine hitter Nick Rickles blooped in a single the barely reached the outfield grass behind first base. Sean Jamieson was next and his single drove Gagnon out of the game.

Lefty reliever Stephen Peterson came on to face left-handed batter Chih-Fang Pan. Peterson got a weak grounder on the infield grass to short, but Pan beat the throw to first to load the bases. Mesa was next and hit a double that one-hopped the wall near the line in the right field corner. All three runners scored and the Bees took a 6-5 lead.

Cameron Garfield drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth inning and pinch runner Lance Roenicke took second on a passed ball. Yadiel Rivera bunted Roenicke to third, but the tying run was left stranded there when the inning ended.

Burlington tacked on two more two-out runs in the eighth inning to go up 8-5. The Rattlers could not recover from the late three run deficit.

The final game of the three game series is Sunday afternoon. David Goforth (5-4, 5.56) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Burlington plans on Drew Granier (9-3, 3.02) to start for them. Game time is 2:00pm.

Ben McMahan (5th, 0 on in 4th inning off Seth Frankoff, 1 out)

Douglas Landaeta (8th, 2 on in 1st inning off Drew Gagnon, 1 out)

WP: Drew Tyson (1-0)
LP: Stephen Peterson (1-1)
SAVE: Jonathan Joseph (3)

TIME: 2:51
ATTN: 1,457