Gray’s Homer Lifts Rattlers Past Cedar Rapids in Extras
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Joe Gray Jr turned around a frustrating day with one swing of the bat to send the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to a 4-2 win in ten innings over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday afternoon at PG Cares Field. Gray hit a three-run home run with
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Joe Gray Jr turned around a frustrating day with one swing of the bat to send the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to a 4-2 win in ten innings over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday afternoon at PG Cares Field. Gray hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the tenth to break a 1-1 tie and the Rattlers held on for the victory.
Misael Urbina put the Kernels (22-19) in front with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Timber Rattlers (13-27) tied the game in the top of the third inning. Alex Hall singled with one out. Eduarqui Fernández followed with a double to left-center and Hall raced home from first to score the tying run.
The game stayed tied through nine innings as the pitchers for each team took different routes to hold the opponents off the scoreboard for the remainder of regulation.
Wisconsin starter Alexander Cornielle gave up a single to Noah Miller after the homer by Urbina. He hit a batter and walked two but didn’t give up another hit over the rest of his 5-1/3 innings. Ryan Brady allowed one walk as he retired eight of the nine batters he faced. Karlos Morales worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to hold the Kernels to one run.
Cedar Rapids starter Jaylen Nowlin gave up seven hits and walked two over five innings but – except for the Fernández RBI double in the fifth, managed to hold the Rattlers in check. Wisconsin\ put two runners on in the sixth and a runner on in the seventh against Regi Grace but couldn’t make anything happen. Only reliever Miguel Rodriguez didn’t allow the Rattlers to threaten as he pitched two perfect innings to keep the game even.
In the top of the tenth, Eric Brown Jr started the inning at second base. Matt Wood singled sharply to left with one out, but third base coach David Tufo put up the stop sign, and Brown held at third. Ben Metzinger was next, and he hit a line drive ticketed for center. However, Javier Salas snared the liner with a leaping back-handed grab for the second out and that brought Gray to the plate.
Gray had a trying day up to the tenth. He made the final out in the first and third innings with runners on first and second. He also made the final out of the fifth inning with a runner at second base. He also grounded out to third to start the eighth inning. Then, Gray wrote a great end to his day.
In the tenth, Gray lined a 1-1 pitch from Niklas Rimmel just over the wall in left for a three-run home run and a 4-1 lead.
Morales got the first out of the tenth inning on a grounder that sent Andrew Cossetti to third base. Then, Brannon Jordan took over on the mound. Jeferson Morales lined a single to center to score Cossetti and bring the tying run to the plate. That was just the third hit of the game for the Kernels. Jordan wasn’t fazed. He struck out Ben Ross and got Emmanuel Rodriguez to flyout to Fernández to end the game.
The win was the second straight for the Timber Rattlers.
Game three of the series is Thursday night at PG Cares Field. Edwin Jimenez (0-1, 0.68) is set to start for Wisconsin. The Kernels will counter with Kyle Jones (2-2, 3.62). Game time is 6:35pm CDT. The broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starts with the Community Blood Center Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Fans can listen on the radio, on the First Pitch app, or at this link. The internet video feed is available to subscribers of Bally Live, too.