Wisconsin Suffers Another Walkoff Loss to Whitecaps
Sac fly in the bottom of the ninth give West Michigan a 4-3 win
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | July 12, 2018 10:17 PM
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a pair of leads over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Thursday night at Fifth Third Ballpark. But, the Whitecaps rallied to tie the game twice before eventually defeating the Rattlers 4-3 on a walkoff sacrifice fly by Cam Warner in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first inning without a hit. Zach Clark reached on an error to open the game. Then, Darren Seferina and Tristen Lutz drew back-to-back walks. Payton Henry knocked in Clark with a slow grounder to third. Trever Morrison made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to right to get Seferina home.
The Whitecaps rallied to tie the game with single runs in the first two innings. Brady Policelli doubled to start the first inning and scored on a single by Warner, the next batter. Joey Morgan walked to start the second inning, but was still at first base with two outs and an 0-2 count on Anthony Pereira. Wisconsin starting pitcher Carlos Herrera threw a wild pitch to send Morgan to second. Pereira lined the next pitch to center for an RBI single to tie the game 2-2.
Wisconsin went back in front with a two-out hit of their own in the top of the fourth inning. Gilbert Lara lined a double to the gap in right-center to score Trever Morrison all the way from first and the Rattlers had a 3-2 advantage.
West Michigan put runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth inning against Herrera, but failed to score. Henry got the first out by throwing out a runner trying to steal third base. Herrera struck out the next two batters to close out the inning with the Rattlers still up 3-2.
That strikeout ended Herrera's day. He scattered five hits, walked three, and struck out six before giving way to the bullpen.
TJ Hintzen relieved Herrera for the bottom of the sixth, but could not hold the lead. Garrett McCain hit a two-out ground rule double to left-center to get a run home and the game was tied.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning. Reliever Robbie Hitt gave up singles to the first two batters he faced in the Whitecaps half of the ninth. Policelli was next and he sent a slow chopper to third. The Rattlers got the force out at second, but Policelli managed to barely beat the throw to first to avoid the double play. That allowed Warner to bat with runners at the corners and one out instead of a runner at third and two outs.
Warner cashed in the opportunity with a fly ball to right that was just deep enough to score the winning run from third and the Whitecaps celebrated a walkoff win over the Rattlers for the second game in a row.
Wisconsin is now 11-20 in games decided by one run after suffering their sixth walkoff loss of the season.
The third and final game of the series is scheduled for Friday night. Christian Taugner (5-6, 3.49) is set to start for the Timber Rattlers. Brad Bass (5-5, 5.05) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Whitecaps. 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.