GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got a much-needed 4-3 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Monday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin had lost six straight games to the River Bandits, the team with the best record in the Western Division of the Midwest League, before getting Monday's game into the win column.
The Timber Rattlers (58-61 overall, 27-23 second half) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning. Korry Howell was at second with two outs when David Fry lifted a high fly to right. The ball was missed by right fielder James Nix for an error and Howell scored for a 1-0 lead.
The River Bandits (71-45, 28-22) threatened to score in the top of the second as Wisconsin starting pitcher Adam Hill walked three batters in frame to load the bases. Austin Dennis was at the plate with two outs and hit a line drive to deep center, but Howell was able to run the ball down by making a leaping catch for the third out to keep the Bandits off the scoreboard.
Howell also denied Dennis at least a lead-off double in the top of the fifth inning with a diving catch in the gap in left-center
Wisconsin added to their lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Thomas Dillard, who had walked earlier in the game to move his on-base streak to 27 game, walked again with one out in the fifth. David Fry followed with a double down the line in left. Dillard just beat the throw to the plate and the Rattlers were up 2-0.
Fry's double was his fortieth of the season. He is ten off the team single-season record for doubles and eleven off the Midwest League's single-season record for doubles. Bo Robinson had 50 doubles for the Timber Rattlers in 1999. Brandon Drury set the league mark with 51 doubles for the South Bend Cubs in 2013.
Pablo Abreu drove Fry home with a two-out, RBI single for a 3-0 advantage. Yeison Coca followed with an RBI double to score Abreu for the 4-0 lead.
Nick Bennett took over for Hill in the top of the fourth and retired ten of the first eleven batters he faced. A walk to James Nix, the number nine batter in the Quad Cities order, with one out in the seventh inning gave the River Bandits a chance. Bennett threw a wild pitch to get Nix to second base. Dennis was next and he hit a grounder up the middle. Shortstop Antonio Piñero made the play going to his left, but tried to get Nix at third instead of Dennis at first. Piñero's throw back to his right was hit Nix and got away. This allowed Nix to score and let Dennis to take second base.
An error on Fry later in the inning let Dennis score and the River Bandits were within 4-2.
In the eighth inning, Oscar Campos doubled against Victor Castaneda, took third on a stolen base, and scored on a grounder by Freudis Nova to cut Wisconsin's lead to one run.
Logan Gillaspie pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out his first save of the season for the Timber Rattlers.
Bennett, the 6th round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2019 draft, earned the win. It was his first professional victory.
In the playoff chase, Monday's win allowed the Rattlers to stay three games behind the Clinton LumberKings in the second half Western Division Wild Card standings. Clinton won their game 7-0 at Peoria on Monday afternoon.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday for the final scheduled off day of the 2019 season. Wisconsin returns to action on Wednesday evening at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Justin Jarvis (3-1, 2.84) is set to be the starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kody Funderburk (0-2, 4.01) is set to start for the Kernels. Game time is 7:05pm.
Wednesday is our first-ever E-Sports Night! There will be characters from some of the most popular games out there, prizes, and even special concessions for this evening.
The first 1,000 fans to attend the game will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers pitcher and Milwaukee Brewers 2019 First-Round Draft Pick Ethan Small. This is poster number three in a series of four that are being given away this season.
Enjoy Cher-Make Hot dogs and 16-ounce Pepsi products for $1. There are also 16-ounce domestic beers available for $2 to those of legal drinking age. These specials are part of the Wednesday night Bang for Your Buck with Y100.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark on Wednesday night, the radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and the TuneIn Radio app starting with the Papa John's Pizza Pregame Show at 6:45pm. MiLB.tv subscribers 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.