The Silver Hawks grabbed the early lead with back-to-back, two-out home runs in the top of the first inning. Earlier in the inning, Ender Inciarte tried to score from second on a single to left by Zach Walters. But, Chad Stang threw out Inciarte at the plate for the second out.
However, Yazy Arbelo, the Midwest League leader in home runs, was up next. He lifted an 0-2 pitch from Rattlers starting pitcher Del Howell over the wall in left for his 23rd home run of the season and a 2-0 Silver Hawks lead.
Raywilly Gomez was next and he drove a home run off the scoreboard in left-center. That put South Bend up 3-0.
In the top of the second inning, Roberto Rodriguez tripled to start the frame. One batter later, Roberto Ortiz sent a weak grounder up the first base line. Ortiz was retired, but Rodriguez scored to put the Silver Hawks up 4-0.
The Rattlers (47-45, 9-13) came back in the bottom of the second. Mike Walker and Chad Stang singled one out apart to put runners on the corners. An RBI grounder by Tony Pechek sent Walker home with Wisconsin's first run.
The score remained 4-1 until the top of the sixth inning. Matt Helm cracked a home run to left to lead off the inning and the Silver Hawks picked up a big insurance run.
Bradin Hagens was the starting pitcher for South Bend and he worked seven innings. Hagens struck out seven and allowed one run.
The Rattlers started their comeback attempt against reliever Blake Cooper. Franklin Romero, Jr. started the bottom of the eighth with a single. An error on a Reggie Keen grounder to third sent Romero around to third base. A wild pitch by Cooper allowed Romero to score.
Later in the eighth, Keen scored on an infield grounder by Greg Hopkins and the Rattlers were within 5-3.
South Bend went to Eury De La Rosa in the bottom of the ninth, but Cody Hawn started the inning with a double. Hawn, who had also singled in the seventh inning to push his hitting streak to 16 games, was replaced by pinch-runner Mike Brownstein. Pecheck's infield single with one out put runners at the corners and brought the winning run to the plate.
Romero's sacrifice fly to center got Brownstein home to make the score 5-4. But, the Rattlers would get no closer.
The series continues on Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Charly Bashara (3-3, 4.30) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. South Bend has J.R. Bradley (3-12, 5.10) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 1:05pm.
Sunday is Strike Out Cancer Day at the ballpark. One dollar for every ticket sold on Sunday will be donated to four area cancer charities.
Also, special Timber Rattlers baseball card set from the Disabled American Veteran will be given out to the first 2,000 fans at the game.
Before the game, fans may play catch on the field presented by momslikeme.com. During the game, the Timber Rattlers players will be wearing jerseys and caps based on those of the 1975 Milwaukee Brewers as part of Brewers Sunday. After the game, players will be available for a post-game autograph session.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark on Sunday, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm.
Yazy Arbelo (23rd, 1 on in 1st inning, off Del Howell, 2 outs)
Raywilly Gomez (2nd, 0 on in 1st inning, off Del Howell, 2 outs)
Matt Helm (3rd, 0 on in 6th inning, off Del Howell, 0 out)
WP: Bradin Hagens (5-3)
LP: Del Howell (1-6)