4 in the Ninth Give Rattlers the Win
GRAND CHUTE, WI – Fans of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers should have learned by now not to leave games early. The Rattlers scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-3 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. This was the sixth walkoff win of the season for the Rattlers and they are now 12-3 at home after winning five of six games from the TinCaps in the season.
Fort Wayne (12-15) scored twice in the top of the second inning to take the early lead. Jarryd Dale singled and stole second to start the inning. Angel Solarte followed with a double off the wall in left to drive in Dale. Later in the inning, Olivier Basabe singled with two outs to knock in Solarte.
Wisconsin (17-10) could not solve TinCaps starting pitcher Robert Gasser. The left-hander walked three, hit one, and struck out six over six innings. The only hit that Gasser allowed was a one-out single to Micah Bello in the bottom of the fifth. In fact, that was the only hit Wisconsin had until the final batter of the game.
The TinCaps added a run in the top of the eighth on a two-out, RBI double by Jack Stronach.
Tyler Black started the rally in the bottom of the ninth with a lead-off walk on four pitches against reliever Ryan Och. Ethan Murray and Joe Gray Jr were next, and they also walked to load the bases with no outs. Och got the first out with a strikeout before he walked Wes Clarke to force in Black with the first run of the game and put the winning run on first base for the Rattlers. Wisconsin manager Joe Ayrault sent Tristan Peters in to run for Clarke.
Och got the second out on a strikeout but walked Bello to force in Murray and that was all for Och. The TinCaps went to the bullpen to have Sam Keating face Alex Hall with the game in the balance.
Hall ambushed Keating’s first pitch and lined a single into right field. Gray and Peters both scored easily, and the race was on for the Rattlers to catch Hall for the victory celebration.
The 2021 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had five walkoff wins in 60 games. This year’s squad has six walkoff wins in just fifteen games.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Monday. They are back in action on Tuesday with game one of a series against the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. Brandon Knarr (3-1, 1.27) is the scheduled starter for Wisconsin. The River Bandits tentatively have planned on sending Tyson Guerrero (0-2, 4.95) to the mound. Game time is 6:30pm with the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio starting at 6:10pm.