Chiefs Open Series with Win Over Rattlers

PEORIA, IL – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers dropped a 3-1 decision to the Peoria Chiefs at Dozer Park on Tuesday night.  The Chiefs scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and had two pitchers hold the Timber Rattlers to four hits in the game to take game one of the six-game series.

Darrien Miller put Wisconsin (11-5) ahead in the top of the second inning with a long, lead-off, home run to right.  The homer was Miller’s third of the season.

Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Russell Smith worked through small jam in the first inning with three straight strikeouts and allowed the first batter to reach on a single in the second.  Smith got the next batter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and retired the next eight batters in a row.

The game turned in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Mack Chambers sent a slow roller between the mound and the first base line with one out.  Smith and first baseman Wes Clark each went after the ball.  Second baseman Tyler Black was charging to the first base bag to take the throw on the run.  Black, the ball, and Chambers all arrived at the same time and there was a collision.  The ball rolled away from the pile up, Chambers got up, but Black was down and stayed down.

Black had to be helped off the field by manager Joe Ayrault and athletic trainer Andrew Staehling.  He was replaced by Yeison Coca at second base.

Peoria (8-8) tied the game on the second pitch thrown after the game restarted.  Thomas Francisco doubled to the gap in right-center on a 1-0 pitch to score Chambers and tie the score.

Smith got the second out of the inning and was ahead of Maysin Winn with two quick strikes.  However, Winn worked the count full as he fouled off four two-strike pitches before drawing a walk on the tenth pitch of the battle.  That was all for Smith who left with 88 pitches.  Smith struck out six and walked two over his 4-2/3 innings of work.

Zach Mort took over and hit the first batter he faced to load the bases.  Jacob Buchberger was next up for the Chiefs and he lined a 2-2 pitch to right to drive in two runs to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

Wisconsin’s offense didn’t have a hit after the fifth inning.  McGreevy pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning and recorded his ninth strikeout in the frame.  John Beller walked one and struck out two over three scoreless innings for his second save of the season.

The loss was the second straight for the Timber Rattlers.

Game two of the series is a Wednesday morning contest.  Max Lazar (1-0, 4.50) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Gordon Graceffo (2-0, 0.56) is set to start for the Chiefs.  Game time is 11:05am.  The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio starting at 10:45am.