Rattlers Fall After Early Lead

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a 4-1 lead over the Cedar Rapids Kernels heading into the top of the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  Then, the Kernels scored nine runs over the final four innings to hand the Rattlers a rough 10-4 loss in front of a crowd of 4,658.

Cedar Rapids (56-35 overall, 13-12 second half) took advantage of a two-out walk in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Wisconsin starting pitcher Russell Smith retired the first two batters he faced but walked Aaron Sabato to keep the inning alive.  Yunior Severino worked the count full and doubled to the corner in left.  Sabato, with a head start from first on the payoff pitch, was able to score for the Kernels.

The Rattlers (48-42, 12-13) responded in the bottom of the second inning.  Zavier Warren crushed a two-run home run to right to put the Rattlers up 2-1.  Warren has six home runs on the season.

Wisconsin extended their lead with two runs in the fourth inning off reliever Tyler Palm.  Warren drew a walk and went to third on a single by Jose Acosta.  Tristan Peters drove in Warren with a sacrifice fly.  Acosta stole second to get into scoring position.  Jackson Chourio doubled to the corner in right to get Acosta home for a 4-1 lead.

Smith carried that lead to the top of the sixth, but the combination of Sabato and Severino tripped him up.  Smith hit Sabato with one out.  Then, Severino cracked a two-run home run to left and Wisconsin’s lead was down to one run.  Smith allowed two hits over six innings and both were to Severino.

The Kernels tied the game in the seventh inning against reliever Robbie Baker.  Wander Javier doubled and Jeferson Morales singled to put runners on the corners with no outs.  Will Holland drove in Javier with a sacrifice fly to right and the score was even at 4-4.

In the eighth, it was Severino who put the Kernels in front.  Alerick Solaire singled to start the inning.  Severino sent a sinking liner to left that eluded a diving attempt by Tristan Peters.  Solaire scored from first on the play and the Kernels were up 5-4.

Ashton McGee started the bottom of the eighth with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Arbert Cipion.  Darrien Miller singled to right and Cipion raced for third with the tying run and no outs.

Cedar Rapids went to the bullpen and Hunter McMahon to get them out of the jam.  McMahon picked Miller off first for the first out and struck out the next two batters to keep the Kernels up 5-4.

The Kernels put the game away in the top of the ninth.  Taylor Floyd gave up a single and a walk to the first two batters before getting a strikeout.  Floyd was 1-1 to Kyler Fedko and appeared to be in the process of making the pitch, but the pitch clock was ruled to have expired and an autoball was called to make the count 2-1.  Floyd would hit Fedko to load the bases and walk Soularie to force in a run.

Sabato was next and he hit a 3-1 pitch from Floyd out to center for a grand slam and a 10-4 lead for the Kernels.

Wisconsin went down in order in the bottom of the ninth for their eighth consecutive loss.

The loss spoiled a very nice Timber Rattlers debut for Chourio, the #1 prospect of the Milwaukee Brewers.  The 18-year-old went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.  Plus, Chourio made several very nice running catches in center.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.  Justin Bullock (0-1, 7.88) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Cedar Rapids has not officially named a starter for Wednesday’s game.  First pitch is 12:10pm.

Today is a Wednesday afternoon game with a Silver Foxes Special from Aspire available.  Fans aged 55 and older receive a box seat ticket, a Timber Rattlers seat cushion, a beverage, and a brat or hot dog for $25.  This offer is not available online.  Fans must redeem the Silver Foxes Special in person at the Box Office or over the phone (920) 733-4152. 

The left field berm will be set aside for all breeds of dogs to enjoy the game with their families as part of Bark in the Park presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Fleet Farm, too.  Admission for dogs is free as long owners sign a waiver that their good doggos are current on their vaccinations (Rabies, DHLP, Parvo, and Bordetella).

If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio is set to start with the pregame show at 11:50am.  The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.tv.