BURLINGTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers salvaged the final game of their three-game series against the Burlington Bees at Community Field with a 7-4 win. Tristen Lutz went 3-for-3 with two doubles, three runs scored, and three RBI to pace the attack. KJ Harrison added three RBI for the victors.
Wisconsin (59-64 overall, 28-26 second half) took the lead in the first inning with a run. Harrison knocked in Lutz with a sacrifice fly for the 1-0 lead.
Burlington (46-74, 16-35) tied the game in the bottom of the second inning on three straight, one-out singles against Wisconsin starter Scott Sunitsch. Alvaro Rubalcaba drove in the tying run with the third single of the sequence.
Lutz scored the run to put the Rattlers up 2-1 in the top of the third inning. He was hit by a pitch with one out, went to second on a wild pitch, and took third on a ground out. A balk by Bees starter Mitchell Traver allowed Lutz to score.
The Bees rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Tim Millard drove in the tying run with a two-out, RBI single.
Lutz had a hand in putting the Rattlers back in front in the fifth inning. The inning started with Jay Feliciano drawing a walk. Gabriel García and Darren Seferina followed with singles to load the bases. Lutz unloaded the bases with a ringing double to the gap in right-center and the Rattlers were up 5-2.
For good measure, Lutz threw out Leonardo Rivas in the bottom of the fifth inning as Rivas tried to stretch a lead-off single into a double.
In the seventh inning, Lutz walked with one out and was standing on third base with two away. Then, Harrison cracked a long homer to left-center and the Rattlers had a 7-2 lead. Harrison is now tied with Lutz for the team lead in home runs. Both sluggers have twelve.
Wisconsin starting pitcher Scott Sunitsch tossed five innings, scattered ten hits, and allowed just two runs to put himself in line for the win.
Christian Meister tossed a scoreless seventh inning and Carlos Herrera worked a 1-2-3 eighth, but the Bees rallied to make the game interesting in the ninth against Herrera.
The first three Burlington hitters in the bottom of the ninth inning reached. Spencer Griffin drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Kevin Williams followed with an RBI double. That made the score 7-4 with one out and the tying run coming to the plate. Herrera settled down and got the final two outs to close out the ninth and put the game in the Wisconsin win column.
Harrison's homer was only the second hit by the Rattlers in fourteen games against the Bees this season. The win on Friday was the first for the Rattlers at Community Field in 2018. They had been 0-4 before Friday's victory.
The Timber Rattlers return to Neuroscience Group Field to begin a six-game homestand. Game one of that homestand is Saturday night against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Dylan File (7-9, 4.51) is the scheduled starting pitcher Wisconsin. The Kernels will counter with Jhoan Durán (6-5, 4.45) as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm.
Celebrate Fang T. Rattler's birthday on Saturday night with two special events. Bring a non-perishable food item to the game for the St. Joseph Food Program and you will receive a slice of birthday cake. Plus, get into the gates early to watch the annual mascot kickball game featuring Fang's team of area mascots against Gnaf's team of area mascots.
Special Memories Zoo is coming back with another petting zoo display outside the stadium before the game. The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers outfielder and Milwaukee Brewers prospect Tristen Lutz courtesy of Brew Pub Pizza. After the game, Tundraland presents the fireworks show. After the fireworks, children 14 and under may run the bases courtesy of Meijer.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are many 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. The game will be televised on CW-14 in Northeastern Wisconsin and on My24 in Southeastern Wisconsin starting at 6:30pm. 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.