Beloit builds big lead and hold on to beat Wisconsin
FOX CITIES STADIUM -- The Beloit Snappers got out to a 9-1 lead over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and held on for a 9-7 win Thursday night. Paul Rutgers was 4-for-4 with two RBI and a game saving catch in the bottom of the ninth. Jay Rainville allowed one unearned run over five innings with six strikeouts for his seventh win of the season.
Beloit (41-44 overall, 8-7 second half) got a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. A sacrifice fly by Deacon Burns drove in the first run. A two out error allowed David Winfree to reach. He would score when Chris Brown reached on an infield single with throwing error on the play.
The Snappers added three more runs in the top of the third inning. Rattler starter Casey Abrams walked three in the inning, including Javier Sanchez to force in a run and make the score 3-0. Reliever Eric O'Flaherty entered the game and gave up a two run single to Rutgers.
Wisconsin (45-40, 6-9) got on the board with a sacrifice fly in by Jack Arroyo in the bottom of the fifth inning.
But, Beloit got their offense going again in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back doubles by Paul Rutgers and Landon Burt to start the frame put them in front 6-1. An RBI single by Winfree made it 7-1 and sent O'Flaherty to the showers. Roman Martinez came out of the bullpen and allowed an RBI double to Chris Brown and a run scoring sacrifice fly to Trevor Plouffe to put the Snapper lead at eight runs.
The Rattlers took advantage a bout of wildness by Beloit reliever Angel Garcia in the bottom of the sixth. Garcia walked two and hit a batter to load the bases with no outs. Brent Johnson unloaded the bases with a three-run double. Johnson scored on a double by Luis Soto and the Rattlers were within 9-5.
In the seventh, Chris Colton unloaded on a 2-1 pitch from Josh Hill for a two-run homer and the Rattlers were within 9-7.
Colton drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth and Rob Johnson came to the plate as the tying run. Snapper closer JP Martinez got ahead of Johnson 1-2, but the Rattler catcher lined a shot to the gap in leftcenter. Rutgers got a good jump on the ball, dove, and made a sliding catch on the warning track to preserve the win for Beloit.
The Rattlers are on the road to start a four game series with the Peoria Chiefs Friday night. Randy Frye (2-2, 6.43ERA) will be the starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Rich Hill, who pitched three games in relief for the Chicago Cubs earlier this season, is scheduled to start for the Chiefs. Game time is 7:00pm.
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