GRAND CHUTE, WI - Some things happened at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Monday night in the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9-3 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels that haven't happened in a long time. On the field, KJ Harrison hit the first Wisconsin grand slam at home since 2014. Off the field, the Timber Rattlers concessions stands were extremely busy on the first-ever Dime Hot Dog Night.
Jacob Pearson put the Kernels (42-39 overall, 10-2 second half) up in the first inning. The Cedar Rapids outfielder lifted a solo home run to right-center as the second batter of the game for a 1-0 lead. Pearson made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the top of the second inning.
Wisconsin (35-45, 4-7) rallied for six runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. There was a little help from the Kernels defense and one big shot from Harrison to cap the inning. Tristen Lutz drove in the first run of the inning with a one-out double. Trever Morrison followed with a single off Kernels starting pitcher Tyler Watson to put runners on the corners.
Watson almost got out of the inning with the lead when he got Payton Henry to send a grounder to short. But, Royce Lewis missed the ball and a chance to turn an inning-ending double play. Lutz scored the tying run. Then, Gilbert Lara drew a walk to load the bases.
Harrison hit the next pitch deep to left and the ball stayed just fair for a grand slam home run and a 6-2 lead. The slam was the second of the season for Harrison. It was also the first grand slam by a Timber Rattlers player at Neuroscience Group Field since Taylor Brennan hit one on August 28, 2014.
The teams traded unearned runs in the fifth inning. Lewis scored from second with two outs when Morrison mishandled a grounder to short in the top of the frame. Gilbert Lara reached second on a throwing error by Lewis to start the bottom of the fifth and scored on a double by Rob Henry to put the Rattlers up 7-3.
Wisconsin starter Christian Taugner went five innings, scattered eight hits, and struck out four with a chance for his fourth win of the season before turning the game over to the Wisconsin bullpen.
The Rattlers added to their lead in the seventh inning. Gabriel Garcia knocked in Lara from third with a sacrifice fly. Darren Seferina cracked a lead-off home run in the bottom of the eighth for the final run.
Cody Beckman was the first Rattler reliever to replace Taugner and he tossed 1-2/3 innings without allowing a hit. Gabe Friese closed out the game with 2-1/3 scoreless frames.
The Rattlers concessions crew set a team record for the most-ever hot dogs sold in a single game. There were 7,267 hot dogs sold for one, thin dime on Monday night.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night. Dylan File (5-4, 4.07) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Randy Dobnak (5-2, 4.14) is set to start for the Kernels. Game time is 6:35pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a patriotic Timber Rattlers baseball hat courtesy of Bergstrom Automotive.
Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $15 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older) and military personnel courtesy of Baker Tilly, WVBO, and AM1280 WNAM. Then, get ready for Independence Day with postgame fireworks from Bergstrom Automotive.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, 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.