Clark leads Wisconsin's 21-hit attack with five hits and four RBI
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | July 9, 2018 5:58 PM
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers offense erupted for 21 hits on Monday afternoon to defeat the Peoria Chiefs 19-5 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers earned a split in the four-game set with the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Zach Clark led the way with the first five-hit game by a Rattler since the 2013 season.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Rattlers (38-49 overall, 7-11 second half) when starting pitcher Nelson Hernández was knocked out of the game after he was hit on his upper right arm with a line drive by Irving Lopez, the second Peoria hitter of the game.
Wisconsin grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second inning by scoring four runs before an out was recorded. Brent Diaz drove in the first run with a bases-loaded single. Nic Pierre followed with an RBI single. Then, Clark had a two-run single for his first hit of the game.
The Chiefs (49-38, 10-7) stormed back to tie the game with a two-out rally in the top of the third against reliever Matt Hardy, who had taken over for Hernández in the first inning, retired the first two batters of the frame, but allowed a walk, an RBI double by Lopez, an RBI single to Yariel Gonzalez and a two-run single by Bryce Denton to even the score. Gabe Friese entered the game after Hardy hit a batter to load the bases to get the final out of the inning.
Friese kept the Chiefs in check as he tossed 3-1/3 scoreless innings while the Rattlers offense went off on Peoria.
Trever Morrison, who had four hits and scored four runs in the game, started Wisconsin's third inning with a double. Gilbert Lara drove in Morrison with a single to put the Rattlers up 5-4.
Clark started the Rattlers fourth inning with a single and Tristen Lutz drew a one-out walk. Morrison drove in Clark with a two-out single for a 6-4 advantage and that drove Peoria starter Paul Balestrieri from the game.
Chiefs reliever CJ Saylor entered the game and walked Lara to load the bases. Then, back-to-back walks to Jay Feliciano and Diaz knocked in runs for an 8-4 lead.
In the fifth, Morrison drove in two more runs with a single and the Rattlers were up 10-4.
Wisconsin continued its onslaught with two more runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Pierre and an RBI triple by Clark.
The biggest inning of the day for the Rattlers was the seventh as they scored seven runs. Feliciano had an RBI single and Diaz had a sacrifice fly to score the first two runs of the inning.
Clark doubled in a run with two outs for his fifth hit of the game. He became the first Rattlers with five hits in a game since Tyrone Taylor had five hits against the Beloit Snappers on August 20, 2013.
Darren Seferina made the score 16-4 with an RBI single to knock in Pierre. Seferina's single gave each of the nine hitters in the Wisconsin lineup at least one hit. Each hitter in the lineup scored at least one run and eight of the nine in the lineup had at least one RBI.
Lutz capped the Rattlers day at the plate with a long, three-run home run to centerfield. The homer was his eighth of the season. He reached base five times with a double, a homer, and three walks in the game.
The Chiefs did get on the scoreboard in the ninth inning on an RBI single by Lopez. But, it wasn't enough.
The last time the Timber Rattlers scored 19 runs in a game was on August 26, 2011 in a game against Kane County. The last time they had 21 hits was in a game against Fort Wayne on July 20, 2016.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday before returning to action on Wednesday for a road game against the West Michigan Whitecaps. Bowden Francis (4-6, 4.95) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Elvin Rodriguez (6-4, 4.28) is set to start for the Whitecaps. First pitch at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is scheduled for 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 5:45pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. 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.