Rattlers Beat Beloit 6-5 in Home Finale on 11th Walkoff Victory of 2018

Wisconsin keeps their playoff hopes alive

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | September 1, 2018 1:12 AM

GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 6-5, walkoff win over the Beloit Snappers in the regular-season finale at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

Both teams scored three runs in their respective first innings to start the game with some offense.

Beloit (67-68 overall, 35-31 second half) jumped in front on a two-run single by Logan Farrar and an RBI double by Jack Meggs against Wisconsin starter Nelson Hernández.

The Rattlers (66-70, 35-32) responded in the bottom of the first inning as Keon Broxton drew a lead-off walk against Bryce Conley. Then, Broxton stole second and stole third. Eddie Silva was at the plate with two outs and lined a 2-0 pitch to left for a homer…eventually. The initial call was a foul ball, but Silva got to complete his circuit around the bases after the umpires conferred and overturned the call. 

Later in the bottom of the first, Payton Henry's bloop single to right dropped in to score Gabriel García from third with two outs to tie the game.

However, the Snappers went back in front in the top of the second. Two errors and a single loaded the bases with no outs. Hunter Hargrove got the go-ahead run home with a single.

Beloit added another unearned run in their half of the third. A poor throw from short for what should have been the final out of the inning allowed Meggs to score from second base for a 5-3 lead.

Wisconsin tied the game in the bottom of the third. Chad McClanahan doubled to right-center to drive in Silva. Kenny Corey, who had three hits in the game, delivered a two-out single to center to score McClanahan with the tying run.

Neither starting pitcher went back out for the fourth inning. The bullpens settled down the game and kept the scored tied 5-5 until the bottom of the ninth.

Michael Petersen retired the only two batters he faced in the top of the fourth before needing to leave after a grounder hit him in the leg. Sal Biasi came into the game for Petersen and tossed 2-2/3 scoreless innings. 

Clayton Andrews took over for Biasi and got the final two outs in the seventh. He had two runners on base after a pair of two-out singles in the eighth, but kept the game tied with an inning-ending strikeout of Armenteros.

Robbie Hitt tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to set the stage for the walkoff win.

Ivan Andueza was the second reliever of the game for the Snappers and he worked three scoreless innings before heading back out for the ninth and getting the first out. He would not get a second out in the ninth.

Silva started the game-winning rally with a walk. García was next and he ripped a single to left. McClanahan stepped into the batters' box next and was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Henry worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off a pair of pitches. Andueza hit him on the left elbow with the next pitch and Silva trotted home with the winning run to keep the Timber Rattlers playoff hopes alive. 

It was the third walkoff RBI for Henry this season. He also had an RBI single to beat Burlington in the tenth inning on May 20 and an RBI sacrifice fly to beat Dayton on July 19.

The walkoff victory was the eleventh of the regular season for the 2018 Timber Rattlers. That breaks the regular season record for the franchise. The 2012 Timber Rattlers had ten walkoff wins during the regular season and had one more in their postseason run to the Midwest League Championship.

In the second half Western Division Wild Card Race, the Kane County Cougars defeated the Peoria Chiefs 10-3. That win puts the Cougars at 35-30 in the second half. They have a one game lead over the 35-31 Snappers. Wisconsin is 1-1/2 games behind Kane County. There are three games left in the season.

The Timber Rattlers must sweep their three-game series at Kane County and Cedar Rapids must win one of the games in their three-game series at Beloit this weekend to get into the Midwest League Playoffs.

The Timber Rattlers begin their final road trip of the regular season on Saturday night with a game against the Kane County Cougars. Scott Sunitsch (2-0, 1.69) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Cougars have named Cole Bartlett (5-3, 3.93) as their starter. Game time at Northwestern Medicine Field is set for 6:30pm.

The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:10pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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