Rattlers Fall in Extra Innings

BELOIT, WI – Cody Morrissette brought the Beloit Sky Carp all the way back with a two-run home run in the bottom of the twelfth inning to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-4 on Friday night at ABC Supply Stadium.  Wisconsin carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning and had leads in the tenth and twelfth innings but could not put the Sky Carp away and it wound up costing the Rattlers ground in the playoff race with not a lot of time left in the first half.

The game was a pitchers’ duel early.  Wisconsin starter Max Lazar worked two perfect innings and reliever Zach Mort worked four scoreless frames out of the bullpen.  Beloit starter Evan Fitterer kept the Rattlers off the board through five innings and retired the first two batters of the sixth before he cracked.

That was when Zavier Warren walked, and Wes Clarke doubled to left to put runners on second and third.  Fitterer uncorked a wild pitch with Ashton McGee at the plate.  Warren raced home to score the run for a 1-0 lead.

Micah Bello added to Wisconsin’s lead in the top of the seventh with a lead-off home run.  Bello’s second home run of the season came on a 3-2 pitch from Josan Mendez and it put the Rattlers (32-23) up 2-0.

The Timber Rattlers had a great chance to add to their lead in the top of the ninth.  Bello started the inning with a double.  Then, with one out, Ethan Murray singled and Joe Gray Jr. was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  A strikeout and a grounder to short ended the threat.

Reliever James Meeker had allowed one hit over two scoreless innings of relief and went back out to try to close the game.

However, the bottom of the ninth started with a walk to Victor Mesa Jr. and a single by Bennett Hostetler.  Ynmanol Marinez followed with an RBI single to send Mesa home and that was all for Meeker.

Joey Matulovich was next, and he gave up a single to David Bradshaw to load the bases.  Dalvy Rosario tied the game with a sacrifice fly to score Hostetler.  A walk reloaded the bases, but Matulovich got the next two outs to send the game to extra innings.

The teams traded runs in the tenth inning.  Jose Acosta’s two-out bloop single fell in shallow center to score Warren from third base.  Robbie Baker got the first two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but gave up an RBI double to Hostetler to tie the game 3-3.

Beloit (25-30) nearly won the game in the bottom of the eleventh.  They had Marinez at third and Bradshaw at second with no outs when Rosario sent a hard grounder down the line at third.  Warren made a spectacular diving stop, got to his feet, and threw a strike to the plate to get Marinez for the first out.  Baker retired the next two batters and sent the game to the twelfth.

Tristan Peters gave Wisconsin the lead again with an RBI single to score Gray.  Once again, the Rattlers could not add on to their advantage.  This time it really cost them.

The game ended on the second pitch of the bottom of the twelfth.  Baker’s first pitch was a wild pitch to send the runner at second to third base.  Cody Morrissette hit the second pitch out of the ballpark for a two-run, walkoff home run.

In the first-half Western Division playoff race, the Rattlers received bad news as the Cedar Rapids Kernels defeated the South Bend Cubs 6-1 on Friday night.  The Timber Rattlers find themselves four games behind the division-leading Kernels with eleven games left remaining in the first half.

Game five of the series is Saturday night at ABC Supply Stadium.  Justin Jarvis (4-2, 4.53) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  The Sky Carp have named Zach King (2-2, 2.81) as their starter.  Game time is 6:35pm.  The radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio is set to start with the pregame show at 6:15pm.  The game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.tv.