Rattlers Fail to Score

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Peoria Chiefs took an early lead, added on to that lead, and got the pitching they needed to hold down the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers offense on Wednesday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  The Chiefs defeated the Timber Rattlers 6-0 in the game.

Peoria (19-28) grabbed the lead in the first inning.  Mike Antico started the inning with a bunt single.  Todd Lott doubled to left with one out to put runners at second and third.  LJ Jones knocked in Antico with a slow tapper back to the mound which left the only play to first for an out.

The Chiefs added to their lead with three two-out runs in the top of the fourth.  Mack Chambers singled on a two-strike pitch with runners on first and second to send the first run across the plate.  Antico followed with a two-run double to the corner in right for a 4-0 lead.

Wisconsin (29-18) struggled against Peoria starting pitcher Wilfredo Pereira.  The right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked none, and struck out five on just 59 pitches.  Pereira was an emergency starter for the Chiefs after scheduled starting pitcher John Beller was scratched this morning.

Antico started a rally for the Chiefs in the top of the seventh with a double.  Lott tripled to the corner in right to get Antico home.  Then, LJ Jones doubled to score Lott and the Rattlers were down 6-0 heading to the seventh inning stretch.

Nathanael Heredia relieved Pereira to start the bottom of the sixth inning and retired all nine Wisconsin hitters he faced.  Heredia struck out four.

Leonardo Taveras closed out the Rattlers with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, including two strikeouts.  The trio of Peoria pitchers combined for eleven strikeouts, no walks, and retired the final fourteen Wisconsin batters of the game.

The Rattlers hits were a one-out double by Zavier Warren in the first, a one-out single by Joe Gray Jr. in the fourth, and a one-out single by Ashton McGee in the fifth.  Wednesday marked the third time the Rattlers have been shutout this season.  It was the second time Peoria has held the Rattlers scoreless in a game this season.

The loss dropped the Timber Rattlers a ½ game behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Western Division Playoff race.  The Kernels are in action later tonight at Lansing and can move a full game ahead of Wisconsin with a win over the Lugnuts.  A loss would drop Cedar Rapids back into a tie with the Rattlers at the top of the division standings.  There are nineteen games left in the first half of the season after the conclusion of tonight’s action.

Game three of the series is Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field.  Brandon Knarr (7-1, 1.58) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin.  Peoria has announced Dionys Rodríguez (0-5, 3.98) as their starter.  Game time is 6:40pm.

Udder Tuggers weekend begins on Thursday.  Players and coaches will wear Wisconsin Udder Tuggers jerseys Thursday through Sunday.  Those jerseys are in an online auction at this link are split into a pair of auctions with two different end times on Sunday night (6:30pm and 7:00pm CDT).  Proceeds from the auction go to Timber Rattlers Give Back, the official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of the team.

The first 1,000 fans to attend Thursday’s game will receive a bobblehead of Buddercup, the Udder Tuggers mascot, courtesy of Sure-Dry.

Thursday is also a Craft Brews & Brats game from Fox River Brewing Company and The Score. Fans of legal drinking age may purchase 16-ounce craft beer for $3. All fans can purchase a Cher-Make brat for $2.

If you can’t make it out to Neuroscience Group Field for the game, there are several ways to follow the Timber Rattlers action.  The radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio is set to start with the pregame show at 6:20pm.  The game is also available on MiLB.tv.