(Courtesy: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers first home game since April 8 was going along fine until the Clinton LumberKings scored five runs with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to break up a scoreless pitchers’ duel. Clinton would go on to defeat the Rattlers 6-2 Monday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Timber Rattlers (3-14) had many, many chances early in the game against Clinton starter Oliver Jaskie.
The first two Rattlers reached base in the bottom of the first as Tristen Lutz and Gabriel García singled, but Jaskie got out of the inning with a double play, the first of four double plays the Rattlers would hit into in the game.
Wisconsin also hit into rally-killing double plays in the third and fourth innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Gilbert Lara doubled and Zach Clark singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Then, Jaskie got a popup and another double play to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Wisconsin starting pitcher Alec Bettinger cruised through the first 5-2/3 innings. He allowed a two-out single in the top of the second inning and retired the next fifteen batters in a row.
Joseph Rosa broke that streak when he singled with two outs in the sixth. A balk by Bettinger moved Rosa to second. Then, Bettinger hit Billy Cooke on an 0-2 pitch and walked Ariel Sandoval to load the bases. Jack Larsen was next and he lined a double off the middle of the batters’ eye in center field to drive in all three runners and give Clinton the lead. Larsen wound up at third base on the throw to the plate. The double knocked Bettinger out of the game.
Jenri Montas would enter the game for Montas and he uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch to let Larsen score from third for a 4-0 lead. Later in the inning, Ryan Costello drove in a run with an RBI single to cap the five-run rally.
Clinton (11-3) added a run in the top of the ninth when Eugene Helder hit a leadoff homer off reliever Matt Hardy for a 6-0 advantage.
Jaskie left the game after seven scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three. Jaskie would earn his first win of the season with his performance.
Wisconsin avoided the shutout when Pat McInerney hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the ninth against Clay Chandler. The homer was the fifth of the season for McInerney, who leads the Midwest League in homers this season.
Demi Orimoloye followed with a triple and scored when Gilbert Lara grounded out to third to account for the final run of the game.
The loss was the tenth in a row for the Timber Rattlers. The win was the seventh straight for the LumberKings.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Nelson Hernández (1-2, 9.82) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Ryne Inman (1-0, 1.04) is set to start for the LumberKings. Game time is 6:35pm.
Take advantage of the Baker Tilly Business Person’s Special on Tuesday night. Show your business card at the ticket office and you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage, and your choice of brat or hotdog courtesy of Baker Tilly, WNAM, and WVBO. The offer is also open to senior citizens aged 55 & older and military personnel. Tuesday is also a Bonus Bang for Your Buck Night with $1 Pepsi products, $1 hotdogs from Cher-make, and $1 12-ounce domestic beers.