Rattlers Fall in the Tenth

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers let two late leads get away Sunday at LMCU Ballpark and they had to watch the West Michigan Whitecaps celebrate another walkoff win in the close and hard-fought series.  The Whitecaps beat the Rattlers 5-4 in ten innings on Sunday on a two-run double by Jake Holton.

Tristan Peters gave Wisconsin (48-38 overall, 12-9 second half) the lead with a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the first inning.  Peters has seven home runs on the season.

That first inning blast broke a six-game streak of the opponents scoring first in Timber Rattlers games.

West Michigan (47-40, 16-5) got on the scoreboard with an RBI double by Josh Crouch.  Holton, who had started the inning with a walk, scored all the way from first on the double by Crouch.

Wisconsin got that run back in the top of the third.  Jose Acosta tripled as the lead-off batter.  Joe Gray Jr. knocked in Acosta with a single for the 3-1 lead.

James Meeker, who was called in to make the spot start, allowed one run on two hits over four innings.  Christian Tripp was first out of the Wisconsin bullpen, and he pitched two scoreless innings.  Robbie Baker was next, and he worked a scoreless seventh.

Baker ran into trouble in the eighth.  The first two batters reached on a single and a walk.  Baker got the first out on a slow grounder to short that moved both runners into scoring position.  Holton sent a sinking liner to center that dropped in for a single to score the run to make it 3-2 and put runners on the corners.  That was all for Baker and Taylor Floyd was called into the game to face Holton. 

Holton sent a line drive that was within the reach of Acosta at second base, but the ball glanced off the glove of Acosta for a single to score the tying run.  Floyd got out of the inning with a double play and after neither team scored in the ninth inning, the game went to extra innings.  This was the third time in the six-game series the contest went to extra innings.

In the top of the tenth, Wisconsin scored a run when Wes Clarke drove in Gray with a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the tenth, Floyd walked Joyce with Trei Cruz already on second base to start the inning.  A weak, infield grounder moved both runners into scoring position for Holton.

Floyd got to a 2-2 count when Holton sent a deep drive to center.  Gray raced back to the warning track and got a glove on the ball, but it trickled out of his glove.  Cruz scored easily.  Joyce had gone back to second to tag in case of a catch and had to hurry to get to the plate just ahead of the relay throw to score the winning run.

The Whitecaps won five of six from the Timber Rattlers in the series.  The five West Michigan wins included three walkoff celebrations – July 12, July 14, and Sunday.  Wisconsin’s win was the 5-2 win in eleven innings on July 13.

The Timber Rattlers start a four-day break on Monday that coincides with the Major League All-Star Break.  They will return to action with their first home game since July 3 when they host the Beloit Sky Carp on Friday, July 22 at 6:40pm.  This is a Peanut-Free Night. No peanuts or peanut-based products will be available in the stadium to allow fans with peanut allergies to attend the game with confidence.

Fans of legal drinking age may purchase Arty’s Supper Club Cocktails for half-price as part of a Supper Club Friday from Arty’s and 101.1 WIXX.  Johnson Financial Group presents postgame fireworks, and after the fireworks, children twelve and under may run the bases courtesy of Menasha Corporation.

If you can’t make it out to Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, the radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio starting with the pregame show at 6:25pm.  This game is also available to MiLB.tv subscribers.