GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers stayed hot on their return to Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 and won their fifth straight game with a 6-5 walkoff win over the Lansing Lugnuts on Monday night. This is the longest winning streak for the Rattlers since they had a six-game winning streak in late April of 2016.
Lansing (18-13) was up 3-0 five batters into the game. Wisconsin starting pitcher Christian Taugner walked the leadoff batter. Kevin Smith, the Midwest League leader in RBI cracked an RBI double to score the first run of the game. Later in the inning Brock Lundquist and Samad Taylor had back-to-back RBI singles.
The first Wisconsin comeback started in the second inning when KJ Harrison crushed a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left for his first Midwest League home run. In third, Payton Henry hit a lead-off homer to pull the Rattlers (13-17) to within a run. Demi Orimoloye tied the game with a two-out RBI double.
The Lugnuts went back in front in the top of the fifth inning. Chavez Young tripled to start the frame and scored on a single by Kevin Vicuña. Christian Williams, who had three hits in the game for Lansing, made it 5-3 with a two-out, solo home run.
Wisconsin nearly tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Joantgel Segovia singled with one out to extend his current on-base streak to 21 games. Then, Tristen Lutz singled. Harrison drew a walk with two outs and that loaded the bases for Gilbert Lara.
Lara delivered a sharp single to right to score Segovia, but Young, the Lansing right-fielder threw out Lutz at the plate for the final out of the inning.
The Rattlers would tie the game in the bottom of the eighth when Henry singled to right with two outs and the bases loaded to drive in Orimoloye. Zach Clark tried to score on the play too, but was thrown out by Young to keep the game even 5-5 and heading to the ninth inning.
Reggie Pruitt started the Lansing ninth with a double against Wisconsin reliever Jose Cuas. A grounder to the right side moved Pruitt to third with the go-ahead run. Cuas got Vicuña to ground to Lara, who was pulled in at third bases, and Lara threw home to Henry to nail Pruitt. Cuas recorded a strikeout of Smith to end the top of the ninth.
Nick Roscetti, who had two hits on Monday, started the Wisconsin ninth with a single and he moved to second on a passed ball. Segovia bunted back to the mound and pitcher Ty Tice's throw to third was wild to allow Roscetti to score the winning run.
Wisconsin celebrated their first walkoff win of the season and they have won seven of their last eight games.
Cuas, who was with the Timber Rattlers in 2017 as a position player, had made the switch to the mound late last season. He picked up his first professional victory with the Rattlers comeback win.
Game two of the series is Tuesday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field. Bowden Francis (1-0, 2.86) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Lansing plans on Maverick Buffo (3-1, 5.75) as their starter. Game time is 12:05pm.
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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.
If you can't make it to the game, there are several ways to catch the action. 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. Monday's game is also the first Timber Rattlers broadcast on Spectrum Sports for fans with Spectrum Cable.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.