(Courtesy: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers close out their brief, chilly, two-game homestand with a 4-2 victory over the Beloit Snappers Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Nelson Hernández pitched six strong innings and was backed up by solid work from the bullpen and some timely power from the offense.
Tristen Lutz gave the Rattlers (1-2) a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Lutz, the #9 prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization who hit nine home runs in his first professional season last year, cracked a two-out, solo home run to left for his first hit as a Rattler in 2018.
Beloit (2-1) threatened in the top of the second inning as they loaded the bases against Hernández with no outs. Hernández kept the Snappers off the board as he got Trace Loehr to line into a double play and Jake Lumley to fly out to end the frame.
Wisconsin added to the lead in the second inning on a Payton Henry two-out RBI double.
The Snappers tied the game as they plated single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Mickey McDonald reached on a single, stole second, and went to third on a balk. Austin Beck cashed in McDonald with a sacrifice fly. In the fourth, Miguel Mercedes and Skyler Weber hit back-to-back doubles to account for the tying run crossing the plate.
Gilbert Lara put the Rattlers back in front in the bottom of the fourth when he launched a home run to left. The dinger was the first for Lara since May 16, 2017 and gave the Rattlers a 3-2 advantage.
Hernández went six innings, walked one, struck out one, and only allowed two runs before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Franly Mallen doubled to start the Wisconsin seventh inning and was bunted to third by Joantgel Segovia. Trever Morrison was next and he sent a slow roller up the first base line. The throw came home, but Mallen beat the toss and the Rattlers had an insurance run for a 4-2 advantage.
The Wisconsin bullpen made the lead stand. Michael Petersen worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh and one-out single in the eight to toss two scoreless frames. Gabe Friese pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down his first save of the season.
The Timber Rattlers begin a seven-game road trip on Monday with a game against the Clinton LumberKings at Ashford University Field. Dylan File is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers and he will make his 2018 debut. Clinton will counter with Ray Kerr as their starter. Game time is 6:30pm.