Timber Rattlers Fall in Slugfest, 13-10

PEORIA, IL – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers let one get away on Friday night at Dozer Park.  The Rattlers had an early 6-1 lead and a late 9-5 lead over the Peoria Chiefs only to see Peoria rally with six runs after there were two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the seventh.  Peoria added two more runs in the eighth and withstood a ninth-inning opportunity for Wisconsin for a 13-10 win.  Each team had three home runs in the slugfest.

The Chiefs (10-9) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to take the lead.  Mike Antico doubled and stole third with one out.  Jacob Buchberger walked to put runners on the corners.  Buchberger was running on a pitch to Matt Chamberlain and the ball glanced off the glove of catcher Darrien Miller.  The ball trickled away from Miller and Antico raced home to give Peoria a 1-0 lead.

Wisconsin (12-7) needed two batters in the top of the second to go in front.  Zavier Warren singled to start the frame.  Ethan Murray was next to hit for the Rattlers and he lined a home run to left.  Murray’s first homer of the season put the Rattlers ahead 2-1.

Carlos Rodríguez and Antonio Piñero kept the inning rolling with back-to-back singles.  Then, Tristan Peters cashed them in with a three-run home run to left and Wisconsin’s lead was out to 5-1.

Rodríguez added to the Rattlers advantage when he hit his first home run of the season.  This blast was an opposite field blast and his first of the season.

Peoria used their speed and a bout of wildness from Wisconsin starting pitcher Antoine Kelly to score twice in the third inning.  Masyn Winn walked with one out, stole second, and stole third.  Antico singled to drive in Winn.  Then, Antico stole second and third.  Buchberger followed by drawing a walk and he stole second.  Kelly hit Matt Chamberlain on a 1-2 pitch to load the bases.  LJ Jones hit a sacrifice fly to foul territory in right to advance all three runners and cut Wisconsin’s lead to three.  Kelly got a strikeout to end the inning.

Carlos Soto brought the Chiefs a little closer with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.

The teams traded runs in the fifth inning.  Warren grounded into a 4-6-3 double play with runners at the corners in the top of the inning for the Rattlers.  Buchberger hit a long home run to left in the bottom of the inning for Peoria.

Wisconsin put a little more distance between themselves and the Chiefs in the top of the sixth inning.  Joe Gray Jr started with a double and Miller singled to put runners on the corners.  Wes Clarke got Gray home with a sacrifice fly.  Warren doubled with two outs and Miller scored all the way from first for a 9-5 lead.

Miguel Guerrero, Wisconsin’s third pitcher of the game, retired the first two Peoria batters in the bottom of the seventh and had a 1-2 count on Matt Chamberlain.  Chamberlain kept the inning alive with a single to center.  Jones was next and he doubled to left.  Guerrero hit the next batter to bring the tying run to the plate.

Mack Chambers was the next batter and he hit a three-run home run to even the score.  Peoria wasn’t done.

Guerrero walked the next hitter and left the game for reliever Brady Schanuel, who would walk the first batter he faced.  Winn put the Chiefs in front with a triple to center to score both runners on base for an 11-9 score.

Jones drove in an insurance run with a single in the bottom of the eighth and scored another insurance run on an RBI grounder off the bat of Chambers.

The Timber Rattlers threw a scare into the Chiefs in the top of the ninth.  Enmanuel Solano walked the first three batters of the inning to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate for Wisconsin.  Ryan Loutos was called into the game from the Peoria bullpen.

Loutos got the first out with a strikeout before he walked Rodríguez to force in a run and bring the go-ahead run to the plate.  Loutos ended the drama by getting a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Peoria stole eight bases in the game.

Rodríguez and Miller were both on base five times for Wisconsin.  Rodríguez went 3-for-3 with the homer, two singles, two walks, and two runs scored.  Miller was also 3-for-3 with a double, two singles, a walk, and three runs scored.

Game five of the series is scheduled for Saturday night at Dozer Park.  Justin Jarvis (1-1, 7.04) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Peoria has named Logan Gragg as their starter.  Game time is 6:35pm.  The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and on internet audio starting with the pregame show at 6:15pm.