CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers rallied from an early deficit and held off the Cedar Rapids Kernels for an 8-6 victory at Perfect Game Field on Wednesday night. The Wisconsin hitters drew thirteen walks in the game.
The Kernels (43-40 overall, 11-3 second half) went up 1-0 two batters into the game. Akil Baddoo tripled to start the first inning. Jacob Pearson knocked in Baddoo with a grounder to second.
Cedar Rapids made it 2-0 in the second inning. Robby Rinn doubled to start the inning. David Bañuelos doubled with two outs to drive in Rinn.
Wisconsin (36-46, 5-8) got on the scoreboard with a two-out rally in the top of the fourth. Payton Henry drew a walk. KJ Harrison was next and hit a blooper to left. Pearson tried to make a diving catch, but he missed the ball and by the time the play was over, Henry had scored and Harrison was standing on second with a double.
The Rattlers took advantage of Kernels starting pitcher Edwar Colina's sudden bout of wildness in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead. Rob Henry started the inning with a single. Colina got the first out of the inning, but walked the next two batters to load the bases. Then, Tristen Lutz drew another walk to force in Henry with the tying run. Trever Morrison was next and he was hit by a pitch to score the go-ahead run and knock Colina out of the game.
Payton Henry greeted Cedar Rapids reliever Jose Martinez with a sharp single to center to score the third and final run of the inning.
Martinez caught Colina's wildness in the sixth inning as he walked two more Rattlers in that frame and both would score. Darren Seferina knocked in the first run with a ground out. Lutz made it 6-2 in favor of the Rattlers with a two-out double.
Gabriel García gave the Rattlers an insurance run in the top of the seventh with a two-out single to right to score Payton Henry for a 7-2 lead.
After two rough opening innings, Wisconsin starting pitcher Nelson Hernández settled into a rhythm and he didn't allow another run as he worked through the bottom of the sixth. Hernández allowed six hits, walked three, and struck out one to give himself a shot at his ninth win of the season.
Cedar Rapids rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Rodrigo Benoit. Baddoo singled with one out and stole second. Pearson tripled him home. Later in the inning, García dropped a flyball to left that would have been the third out. The miscue allowed Pearson to score and the Rattlers lead was down to three runs.
The Rattlers got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth inning. Lutz drew a walk, Wisconsin's tenth walk of the game, to get on base. Morrison followed with a single to get Lutz to second base. Harrison would get Lutz home with a two-out single and the Rattlers had an 8-4 lead.
The Kernels kept coming at the Rattlers though. Baddoo tripled with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth to cut Wisconsin's lead to two runs and bring the tying run to the plate. Robbie Hitt relieved Benoit after the triple by Baddoo and got Pearson to end the threat.
Tanner Kiest retired the first two Rattlers he faced in the top of the ninth before walking the next three to reload the bases for Wisconsin, but he escaped the inning.
Hitt gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Royce Lewis, but retired the next three batters to close out the game for his third save of the season.
The final game of Wisconsin's brief, two-game road trip is Thursday night. Bowden Francis (4-5, 4.60) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Cedar Rapids has named Bailey Ober (4-1, 5.36) as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:15pm. 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.