GRAND CHUTE, WI - Two big
innings were enough for the Kane County Cougars to beat the Wisconsin Timber
Rattlers 7-6 Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field.
Kane County scored three times in the second and four times in the fifth
to build a 7-2 lead. Three Cougars
relievers allowed one run over five innings to hold off the Rattlers.
Both teams are at 1-1 on the young season.
A misplay on a potential inning ending double play led to three Kane County runs in the second inning. The Cougars had runners at first and second with one out and Travis Jones sent a grounder to third. The throw to second got the force out, but the throw to first was wild to allow the first run of the game to score. Rattlers starting pitcher Matt Miller walked the next batter and Alex Llanos followed with a two-run double and the Cougars were up 3-0.
Wisconsin responded in the bottom of the third inning. Reggie Keen homered to left with two outs and Nick Shaw on base. Keen's first homer of the game pulled Wisconsin to with a run.
The scored remained 3-2 until the top of the fifth inning. Llanos tripled to start the inning. Then, Miller walked Angel Franco. The walk ended Miller's night. Rattlers reliever Charly Bashara was greeted with an RBI single by Brett Eibner and a two run double by Brian Fletcher. Geulin Beltre capped the four run inning with an RBI single.
Miller's line in his Timber Rattlers debut was four innings, four hits, five runs, five walks, and three strikeouts. He would be charged with the loss.
But, the Rattlers offense made the game interesting. The comeback attempt started in the bottom of the fifth as the team loaded the bases with no outs. TJ Mittelstaedt drew a walk, Carlos George singled, and Shaw walked again. That chased Kane County starting pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon from the game. Cougars reliever Matt Mitchell got the first out of the inning with a strikeout, but Cody Hawn singled through the right side of the infield to knock in a pair of runs. Mike Walker was next and he singled in one run to make the score 7-5. A single by Greg Hopkins loaded the bases again for the Rattlers. But, Mitchell got out of the inning with no more damage by getting a strikeout and a groundout.
Keen was a one man rally in the bottom of the seventh. He singled and stole second to get into scoring position. Keen would also steal third and score on a wild throw by Jones, the Kane County catcher. The got Wisconsin to within a run.
Hopkins would single with two outs in the seventh. Robbie Garvey sent a sinking line drive to shallow leftcenter that looked like it might drop in for a hit to extend the inning. But, Eibner charged in from centerfield to make a diving catch and end the inning.
The Rattlers did get the tying run into scoring position in the eighth inning after Mittelstaedt singled and stole second. But, Wisconsin could not get the tying run across the plate.
Wisconsin did steal five bases in the game. Keen had three and Mittelstaedt had two. In the first two games of the season, the Rattlers have stolen seven bases in eight attempts.
Game three of the series between Wisconsin and Kane County is Saturday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. The Rattlers will send Jimmy Nelson to the mound as their scheduled starting pitcher. The Cougars will counter with Leondy Perez. Game time is 1:05pm.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Manny Parra is scheduled to pitch in relief for the Rattlers on Saturday afternoon. He is scheduled to be on about a 25 pitch limit.
Tickets are available at the Time Warne Cable Field Box Office or by calling (800) WI-TIMBER.
If you can't make it out to the game, you may tune in for the broadcast on AM1280WNAM or on www.timberrattlers.com beginning with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm.
KC 030 040 000 - 7 7 1
WI 002 030 100 - 6 11 2
Reggie Keen (1st, 1 on in 3rd inning, off Sugar Ray Marimon, 2 out)
Matt Mitchell (1-0)
LP: Matt Miller (0-1)
SV: Chas Byrne (1)