EASTLAKE, OH - It took a little longer than they would have liked, but the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers picked up a hard-fought 11-7 win in eleven innings over the Lake County Captains Thursday night at Classic Park. The Rattlers had the final big rally in a back-and-forth ballgame.
Lake County (12-13) took advantage of a brief bout of wildness by Wisconsin starting pitcher Carlos Herrera to take the lead in the first inning. Herrera hit Jorma Rodriguez and walked Austen Wade on four pitches. Nolan Jones grounded into a force play for the second out, but Oscar Gonzalez pulled a single into left to knock in Rodriguez.
A walk helped the Rattlers (9-17) tie the game in the top of the third inning. Payton Henry walked with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Joantgel Segovia, who had been named the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Month for April earlier in the day, lined a double to right-center with two outs to send Henry home with the tying run.
Segovia, who hadn't played since being hit in the helmet during the first inning of Sunday's game at home against Peoria, extended his current on-base streak to seventeen games with that double. He has been on base in 20 of the 21 games he has played this season and it was just the start of his night.
Gilbert Lara put the Rattlers in front and extended a streak of his own in the top of the fourth. Lara hit a two-run homer to center to move his hitting streak to seven and gave the Rattlers a 3-1 lead.
The Captains chipped away and scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to take a 4-3 lead.
Herrera walked Ernie Clement to start the bottom of the fifth and Clement stole second. Wade singled with one out to drive in Clement to cut the Rattlers deficit to one.
Bowden Francis relieved Herrera to start the bottom of the sixth and gave up a double to Gonzalez and an RBI single to Jonathan Laureano to allow the Captains to tie the game.
Lake County went up in the bottom of the seventh inning. Francis allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, but got a 4-6-3 double play to give himself a chance to get out of the inning. Nolan Jones sent a slow chopper towards where second baseman Nick Roscetti would normally be playing defense. However, Roscetti was stationed in short right for the shift and had to go a long way to get to the ball. Roscetti got to the ball, but bobbled it and threw wildly to first to allow the runner on third to score the go-ahead run.
Eli Morgan, the Lake County starting pitcher, retired the final eleven Rattlers he faced after the Lara homer and turned the game over to Kyle Nelson for the bottom of the eighth with the lead.
Nelson had not allowed a run in his first 9-2/3 innings of the season, but the Wisconsin responded in the top of the eighth against him. Roscetti reached with one out on an error by Jones and was on second with two outs. Devin Hairston singled to right to knock in Roscetti with the tying run.
Wisconsin nearly took the lead in the eighth as Tristen Lutz doubled to the gap in right-center, but Hairston was barely out at the plate for the final out of the inning.
The game went to the tenth still tied and the new tie-breaking rules went into effect. Zach Clark started the tenth as the runner at second. He moved to third on a hard grounder up the middle off the bat of Payton Henry that deflected off reliever Tommy DeJuneas for a 1-3 putout.
Roscetti was next to the plate and he sent a high chopper to short with the infield drawn in on the grass. Clark was able to beat the throw home and the Rattlers had the lead. Segovia was next and he doubled to chase Roscetti home for a 6-4 lead.
But, the Captains came back in the bottom of the tenth against Wisconsin reliever Cody Beckman. Gonzalez started the inning as the runner at second. Laureano's high chopper to second flattened out when the ball hit the lip of the grass. The ball went through the legs of Roscetti for an error and Gonzalez scored. Tyler Friis was next and he tripled to the gap in left-center to send Laureano home with the tying run. Friis stood on third as the winning run with no outs.
Beckman managed to escape the inning with a hard grounder to first, a strikeout, and a grounder to short. The game went to the eleventh tied 6-6.
Lutz, who had grounded into an inning-ending double play in the top of the tenth went to second to start the top of the eleventh as Jonathan Teaney took the mound. Teaney walked Demi Orimoloye and gave up a bloop single to Lara to load the bases. Teaney got the first out with a strikeout.
Clark was next and his liner to first couldn't be handled by Jose Vicente. Lutz scored another go-ahead run for the Rattlers and the bases were still loaded.
Henry unloaded the bases with a triple to the gap in right-center to score all three runs and the Rattlers were up 10-6. Henry scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Beckman did allowed the placed runner to score in the bottom of the eleventh on a single by Wade, but he retired the next two batters to end the game and claim his first professional win.
Segovia ended his day with three doubles and two RBI in six trips to the plate.
The win gave the Rattlers a series win over the Captains as they took two of three at Classic Park.
The Timber Rattlers continue their road trip on Friday with the first game of a three-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Wisconsin has named Alec Bettinger (0-3, 7.85) as their starting pitcher. The TinCaps have Emmanuel Ramirez (1-0, 0.00) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 5:45pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.