Clarke Homers Twice in Rattlers Win

BELOIT, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers jumped to a 7-0 lead through five innings on Saturday night against the Beloit Sky Carp at ABC Supply Stadium.  Things got precarious late as the home team had the tying run at the plate in the eighth inning.  However, the Rattlers pulled away thanks to a ninth-inning grand slam from Wes Clarke and defeated Beloit 12-4.  Clarke homered twice and drove in six runs to lead the Wisconsin offense.

The Timber Rattlers (33-23) jumped on Beloit starting pitcher Zach King for three runs in the first inning.  Tyler Black started the inning with an infield single.  Ethan Murray followed with a double to put runners on second and third.  Tristan Peters laced a double to left-center to score both runners.  Wes Clarke capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single.

Black delivered an RBI double in the top of the second inning and the Rattlers were up 4-0.

Clarke made it 5-0 with a long, solo homer to center in the third inning.

In the fourth, Jose Acosta hit a deep drive off the wall in center.  Victor Mesa Jr tried to make a leaping grab but missed and the ball caromed away from him and the rest of the Beloit defense.  Acosta turned on the jets and raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run without a play at the plate.

Peters singled in the fifth inning and moved to second on wild pitch with two outs.  Micah Bello drove in Peters with a double to left and Wisconsin’s lead moved to 7-0.

Beloit (25-31) got on the board in their half of the fifth inning against Wisconsin starting pitcher Jarvis.  Marcus Chiu hit a 2-2 pitch for a two-out, solo home run.

The Sky Carp chipped away with two more runs in the sixth.  An error with one out allowed Victor Mesa Jr reach base and Will Banfield followed with a single.  Ynmanol Marinez was next, and he singled to right to score Mesa and send Banfield to third.  Davis Bradshaw grounded into a force play at second to score Banfield to make the score 7-3.

Jarvis finished his night with a perfect seventh inning.  In his last seven starts, Jarvis is 4-0.  In his two starts this month, Jarvis has allowed three earned runs, walked one, and struck out fifteen over thirteen innings.

The win wasn’t certain at the time because the Sky Carp rallied against Miguel Guerrero in the bottom of the eighth.  The first two batters – Dalvy Rosario and Mesa – reached on a single and a walk.  Guerrero got the first out on a popup, but Marinez was next.  The Beloit third baseman lined a single, his fourth hit of the game, to score Rosario and send Mesa to third base.  However, Marinez noticed that no one was covering second as the throw came to Ethan Murray in the cutoff position and Marinez made a dash for second.  Murray caught the ball, raced to the base, dove, and tagged Marinez just in time for the second out of the inning.  However, Guerrero walked the next batter, and the tying run was coming to the plate for Beloit.

Closer Cam Robinson was called into the game, and he struck out Bennett Hostetler to end the threat.

The Rattlers needed some insurance runs in the top of the ninth, but it didn’t look like they would be able to get any as Robinson Martinez retired the first two batters of the inning.  Murray kept the inning alive with a bloop double to right and Peters drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch.  Zavier Warren had a 3-2 pitch due, but never got it as the pitch clock ran out before Martinez made a delivery to the plate.  An autoball was called to give a walk to Warren and the bases were loaded.

That brought Clarke to the plate, and he crushed a 2-2 pitch from Martinez past the batters’ eye in center for his second grand slam of the season.  Clarke is Wisconsin’s team leader in RBI with 36 and he has sixteen of those RBI in sixteen plate appearances with the bases loaded.  Clarke also became the first Timber Rattlers player to hit two-homers in a game this season.

Wisconsin wasn’t done.  Bello collected his third hit of the night with a single.  Alex Hall drove in Bello with a double and the Rattlers lead was stretched out to 12-4.

Robinson pitched around a single and a walk in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game for his thirteenth save of the season.

Black joined Bello, Clark, and Peters with three hits in the game as the Timber Rattlers set a new single-game high for hits this season with seventeen.

In the first half Western Division playoff race, the South Bend Cubs aided Wisconsin’s chances.  South Bend defeated the division-leading Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-3 at home.  The Timber Rattlers are three games behind the Kernels with ten games remaining in the half.

The final game of the series is Sunday afternoon at ABC Supply Stadium.  Russell Smith (1-4, 5.49) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin.  Chris Mokma (0-1, 3.86) is set to start for the Sky Carp.  Game time is 1:05pm.  The radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio is set to start with the pregame show at 12:45pm.  The game is also available to subscribers of