Wiemer and Piñero homer and relievers nail down a Timber Rattlers Win
The Rattlers handshake line after a win over Cedar Rapids in the final home game of the 2021 season.
(Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)
September 12, 2021
GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers sent the final home crowd away happy on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Timber Rattlers built an early lead and held on for a 5-4 win over the playoff-contending Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 4,198
GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers sent the final home crowd away happy on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Timber Rattlers built an early lead and held on for a 5-4 win over the playoff-contending Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 4,198 fans.
Joey Wiemer put Wisconsin (54-59) in front with a towering home run that cleared the video board. The blast came with one runner on base and one out in the bottom of the first inning. Wiemer has eleven homers as a Rattler.
Antonio Piñero added to the Rattlers lead with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the second. The homer was Piñero’s first of the season with Wisconsin.
The Kernels (63-51) cut the advantage in half with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. They had loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks. DaShawn Keirsey Jr sent a liner to left field that Joe Gray Jr. tracked down with a nice running catch for the second out of the inning with a run scoring on the sacrifice fly.
However, another single reloaded the bases for the Kernels and Daniel Ozoria followed with a single to center. One run scored on the play but Sal Frelick threw out Seth Gray at the plate for the final out as Gray tried to score from second on the hit.
Freddy Zamora added to the Wisconsin lead and to his own hitting streak in the bottom of the fifth inning with an RBI double to score Wiemer. Zamora’s hitting streak reached nine games and the Rattlers had a 5-2 lead.
The Kernels, who are the leader for the High-A Central League Wild Card, are fighting to make the playoffs for the eighth season in a row and did not go down without making the game interesting.
In the top of the sixth Gray walked and Keirsey singled with one out against reliever Nash Walters. Jair Camargo followed with a hit down the line in left. Gray scored but Keirsey was out trying to go to third on a strong throw from Joe Gray Jr. Walters got the final out of the inning with a strikeout and tossed a 1-2-3 seventh.
In the top of the eighth, Cam Robinson allowed a single and a walk to start the inning. Keirsey singled to drive in a run and the Kernels were within a run. The call went to the Wisconsin bullpen and Evan Reifert, the fifth Wisconsin pitcher of the game, came in to protected that 5-4 lead.
Reifert struck out Camargo for the second out but threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with pinch-hitter Jeferson Morales at the plate. Morales popped out to left to end the threat.
The top of the order started a last-chance rally for the Kernels in the top of the ninth. Edouard Julien reached on an infield single and Michael Helman followed with a single. Then – with Matt Wallner at the plate – Julien took third on a wild pitch and Helman stole second to put the tying and lead runs in scoring position with no outs in the ninth.
Reifert struck out Wallner, who had hit seven homers against Wisconsin this season, looking at a 3-2 pitch. Aaron Sabato, the #1 pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2020 draft, was next and Reifert struck him out on three pitches. That brought Alex Isola to the plate. Isola had homered four times in the previous five games of the series but could only flyout to Wiemer in right to end the ballgame this time and Reifert earned his fifth save of the season.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak and allowed Wisconsin to go 33-27 in sixty home games this season.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Monday. They return to action on Tuesday when they start their final series of the 2021 season. Wisconsin will face the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan in game one of a six-game series on Tuesday with a scheduled first pitch of 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM 1280, WNAM and on internet audio with the pregame show at 5:45pm. The game is also available on MiLB.tv.