GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had an early lead, but the Bowling Green Hot Rods zoomed past Wisconsin for a 10-5 win at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The loss spoiled a nice day for Wisconsin first baseman KJ Harrison, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the game.
Both teams scored early in the game. Harrison put the Timber Rattlers up 2-0 with a two-run double in the bottom of the first. Jim Haley got Bowling Green on the scoreboard with an RBI grounder in the top of the second.
Emilio Gustave cracked a lead-off home run in the top of the third inning to tie the game. Two straight walks and a sacrifice bunt set the stage for Moises Gomez to double in two runs and give the Hot Rods (66-33 overall, 19-11 second half) a 4-2 lead.
The Rattlers(44-54, 13-16) answered in the bottom of the third to make it close, but it could have been so much more. Tristen Lutz singled and Trever Morrison walked to start the inning. Harrison followed with an RBI single to score Lutz and the Rattlers trailed 4-3.
Gilbert Lara was next and he ripped a single to left the loaded the bases with no outs. However, the Rattlers could not muster another run in the inning as Bowling Green starter Mikey York got a shallow fly to left, an out at the plate on a pitch that got away from catcher Alexander Alvarez, and a strikeout.
Wisconsin starter Dylan File couldn't keep the game close as the first six Hot Rods to bat in the fourth reached base with four of them scoring to take an 8-3 lead.
Alvarez started the onslaught with a home run. The next three batters singled to load the bases. Taylor Walls drove in a pair of runs with another single. Carl Chester drove File out of the game with an RBI single.
Reliever Cody Beckman took over for File and escaped the inning with no more damage. Beckman pitched four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the Rattlers close.
Harrison doubled to start the bottom of the fifth inning for his third hit of the game. He would score later in the frame on a sacrifice fly by Kenny Corey.
The Rattlers, who entered the day with the best fielding percentage in the Midwest League, committed three errors in Sunday's game. This was just the second time this season Wisconsin had been charged with three errors in a game.
One of those errors came in the top of the eighth inning. Vidal Brujan tripled to drive Gustave home from first base, but the throw in from right fielder Tristen Lutz bounced away from the cutoff man and Brujan raced home on the error for a 10-4 lead.
Harrison drove in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Rattlers and Hot Rods have each won a game in this series. The rubber game of the series - and the final game of Wisconsin's homestand - is set for Monday afternoon. Carlos Herrera (1-6, 5.31) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Bowling Green has not named their starter for the game yet. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05pm.
AZCO invites children to come out to the park on Monday for Building Imagination Day for fun activities related to the construction industry. PBS Kids' star Clifford, the Big Red Dog will be at the game, too. Purchase an entrée at any Qdoba location in Appleton, Neenah, or Oshkosh for lunch on Monday and receive a ticket to any Monday home game during the 2018 season.
Monday is also a bonus Baker Tilly Businessperson Special. Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $15 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older) and military personnel courtesy of Baker Tilly, WVBO, and AM1280 WNAM.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are many ways to catch the action. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 11:45am. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. The game will be televised on Spectrum Sports starting at noon. 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.