CLINTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers won their third straight one-run game over the Clinton LumberKings with a 3-2, ten-inning victory at Ashford University Field on Sunday afternoon. Chad McClanahan scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the tenth and Clayton Andrews got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the tenth to secure the win. The win combined with two other results in the Midwest League allowed the Rattlers to pick up a full game in the Second Half Western Division Wild Card race.
It wasn't easy.
Matt Sanders put the LumberKings (66-67 overall, 27-36 second half) up 1-0 with a long, solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.
That was the only run allowed by Wisconsin starting pitcher Nelson Hernández, who pitched five innings, allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out four.
Wisconsin (64-68, 33-30) tied the game in the top of the third. Gabriel García was at first after being hit by a pitch. Tristen Lutz lined a two-out double to left-center and García scored on the play to even the score 1-1. That was the only run allowed by Clinton starting pitcher Ryne Inman, who pitched five innings, allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out six.
The game stayed tied until Eddie Silva cracked a solo homer off Marvin Gorgas with one out in the top of the ninth to put the Rattlers up 2-1. The homer was the fourth of the season for Silva, who has played 26 games for Wisconsin.
However, Clinton tied the game when Sanders hit the first pitch Clayton Andrews tossed in the bottom of the ninth over the wall in left for his second homer of the game.
McClanahan started the top of the tenth inning at second base under Minor League Baseball's extra-innings rule. Gorgas threw a wild pitch with Gilbert Lara at the plate to allow McClanahan to take third base. The LumberKings elected to walk Lara intentionally to put runners at the corners. Gorgas got the first out of the inning on a popup, but threw another wild pitch with Brent Diaz at the plate. The ball bounced toward the Wisconsin dugout on the first base side of the diamond and McClanahan scored for the 3-2 lead.
Andrews went back out for the bottom of the tenth as Dimas Ojeda took his spot at second to start the inning. Andrews hit Ariel Sandoval on an 0-2 pitch. Then, Johnny Adams dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the tying and winning runs into scoring position with one out.
Wisconsin elected to walk Rainis Silva intentionally to load the bases.
The Rattlers escaped with the victory when Andrews struck out pinch-hitter Juan Camacho and got Billy Cooke to ground out to short for the final two outs.
Wisconsin has won the first three games of this series at Clinton 4-3, 5-4, and 3-2.
In the second half Western Division Wild Card race, the Rattlers received a lot of help. Kane County lost 10-4 at Cedar Rapids. Beloit lost 10-2 at Peoria. Both Kane County and Beloit are tied for the Wild Card at 33-29. The Timber Rattlers are 33-30 and are just one-half game back. All three teams - Wisconsin, Kane County, and Beloit - have seven games left in the season.
The final game of the series is Monday night at Ashford University Field. Zach Davies has been named the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Clinton has named Clay Chandler (8-3, 3.94) as their starter. Game time is 6:30pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:10pm. 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.