Rattlers Double up TinCaps

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 6-3 on Saturday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  Starting pitcher Russell Smith set new single-game highs as a professional in innings pitched and strikeouts to earn his first professional victory.

Wisconsin (16-10) grabbed an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Tyler Black drew a lead-off walk, stole second, and stole third.  Joe Gray Jr. knocked in Black with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.  Fort Wayne starting pitcher Danny Denz walked Darrien Miller and Wes Clark with two outs.  Then, Tristan Peters singled to center on a 3-2 pitch to score Miller for the two-run cushion.

Gray made it 3-0 with a line drive home run down the left field line in the third.  It was Gray’s second home run of the season.

Micah Bellow dropped a bloop single to center with two outs and the bases loaded in the third inning to score two more runs for the Rattlers.

Miller added an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth and Wisconsin led to 6-0.

Smith walked two of the first three batters he faced in the first inning but settled in after that.  He pitched five scoreless innings, allowed one hit, and struck out seven.  That put him in line for his first pro win.  First, the bullpen had to close out the last four innings.

Fort Wayne (12-14) got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning.  Joshua Mears hit a solo home run off Brady Schanuel with one out.  Mears has eight home runs this season took the lead in the Midwest League in that category with this home run.

The TinCaps made the game interesting in the eighth as the first four batters reached base against Cristían Sierra.  Ripken Reyes tripled, Corey Rosier walked, and Robert Hassel III doubled to drive in two runs.  Mears was next and he singled to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out.  The call was made to the Wisconsin bullpen.

Cam Robinson took over on the mound and got a strikeout and a 1-4-3 double play to get out of the frame.  Robinson walked two with two outs in the ninth before getting the final out of the game for his fifth save of the season.

Wisconsin starting pitchers have allowed one run over 27 innings in the first five games of the series.

The Timber Rattlers offense drew nine walks and stole seven bases in Saturday’s game.  The Rattler hitters have drawn 34 walks in the series with Fort Wayne.  Wisconsin has won four of five games and clinched a series victory with the win on Saturday.

The series finale is Sunday afternoon.  Max Lazar (1-0, 2.51) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Robert Gasser (1-3, 4.66) is set to start for the TinCaps.  Game time is 1:10pm.

Sunday is a Brewers Sunday with 107.5 The Fan and there will be a special guest at this game.  Milwaukee Brewers mascot Barrelman will be making an appearance from 12:30 to 1:30pm to meet fans.  You can play catch on the field before the game from noon to 12:30 courtesy of Chick-fil-A.  During the game, Timber Rattlers players and coaches will wear their 2022 Brewers-themed jerseys and caps.  Players will be available for autographs with fans in a postgame autograph session courtesy of Tundraland.

If you can’t make it out to the stadium, there are several ways to follow the action.  The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and on internet audio starting with the pregame show at 12:50pm.  The game is also available on MiLB.tv.