Wisconsin loses on close call for ball four with bases loaded
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | July 11, 2018 10:52 PM
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Wednesday night's game between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark came to a frustrating end for the visitors. West Michigan beat the Rattlers 3-2 in ten innings on a two-out, walkoff walk.
The Whitecaps (46-44 overall, 10-10 second half) scored single runs in the second and third innings. Dylan Rosa cracked a solo home run in the second to put West Michigan in front of the Rattlers. In the third, Cam Warner doubled with one out. Reynaldo Rivera drove in Warner with a two-out single to center against Wisconsin starting pitcher Bowden Francis. Rivera and Francis were teammates at Chipola Junior College last year before being drafted by different organizations.
Wisconsin (38-50, 7-12) had one base runner in the first five innings against Whitecaps starting pitcher Elvin Rodriguez. Kenny Corey drew a one-out walk in the third inning, but was erased on a double play.
Gilbert Lara broke up the no-hit bid and the shutout bid by Rodriguez with one swing of the bat. Lara cracked a lead-off home run in the top of the sixth to get the Rattlers on the scoreboard. Later in the inning, Tristen Lutz delivered a two-out, RBI single to center and the game was tied 2-2.
The relievers kept the game even through nine innings. Clayton Andrews, the 17th round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018 draft, worked two scoreless innings out of the Wisconsin bullpen. Rodrigo Benoit also tossed two scoreless innings for Wisconsin. The Whitecaps received three scoreless innings from Johan Belisario and the game went to extra innings.
The Rattlers tenth inning lasted just two batters. Trever Morrison, who made the last out of the ninth inning, started the tenth at second base under the new tie-breaking rules. Clate Schmidt got the first out with a popup before getting Lara to line out the short. Morrison got trapped to far from second base and was doubled off to end the inning.
The Whitecaps tenth inning was eventful. Michael Petersen took over for Benoit to start the inning as Brady Policelli took his position at second base. Cam Warner dropped a sacrifice bunt up the third base line and reached when second baseman Darren Seferina dropped the throw from Petersen. Wisconsin elected to walk Brock Deatherage to load the bases and send Gabriel García into the game for outfielder Nic Pierre. García was then positioned as a fifth infielder.
Petersen struck out the next two batters to give the Rattlers a chance to send the game to the eleventh. García moved to left field and the infield went back to four players after the second strikeout.
The count went full on Kody Clemens, son of Roger Clemens and the third round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 2018 draft. Petersen fired to the plate, Clemens took the pitch, and catcher Payton Henry caught the ball thinking it was strike three to send the game to the eleventh. However, the pitch was called ball four and Clemens walked to first as Policelli trotted home with the winning run as the Rattlers argued in vain.
Game two of the series is set for Thursday evening. Carlos Herrera (1-6, 5.17) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Whitecaps have named Jesus Rodriguez (5-4, 4.67) as their starter. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 5:45pm CDT. 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.