Cedar Rapids Surges Past Timber Rattlers
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Cedar Rapids Kernels hit three more home runs on Wednesday night to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9-6 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Kernels have hit six home runs in the first two games of the series with Wisconsin and have hit 96 home runs on the season. The game was halted by a severe thunderstorm after eight innings. The Kernels have won the first two games in this series.
Cedar Rapids (42-32) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Yunior Severino doubled to left with two outs. Jair Camargo followed with a double to center and Severino scored the first run of the game.
Kekai Rios walked and Chad McClanahan doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the third for Wisconsin (35-38). Kernels starting pitcher Jon Olsen got the next two batters and it looked like he might escape the inning with no damage. Then, he walked Korry Howell on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.
Je'Von Ward stepped to the plate and hit a blooper to shallow center. Mike Helman made a diving attempt at a catch, but the ball glanced off his glove and three runs scored while Ward made second with a double.
The Kernels retook the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Helman started the inning with a triple. Edouard Julien tied the game with a long two-run homer with one out against starting pitcher Zach Mort. Then Seth Gray reached on a single and Wisconsin called on Taylor Floyd to get out of the inning.
Floyd struck out the first batter he faced for the second out, but a long fly to right-center off the bat of Wander Javier dropped just out of the reach of right fielder Jesús Lujano for a triple to score Gray and the Kernels were up 4-3.
The Timber Rattlers stormed back in front in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ward singled with two outs on a two-strike pitch to keep the frame going. Then, Thomas Dillard drove an opposite field home run past the scoreboard in left-center for a 5-4 Wisconsin advantage. The homer was the fourteenth of the season for Dillard and gave him 62 RBI on the season.
The lead did not last long for the Rattlers.
Helman drew a walk with one out in the top of the sixth and Max Smith just cleared the wall in center to the right of the batter's eye for a two-run home run and the Kernels were back in front by a score of 6-5. Later in the inning, there was a walk with wo outs and Wallner followed that with a two-run home run.
The Kernels added another run in the top of the eighth. Wallner singled, his third hit of the game, and went to third on a single by Javier, his third hit of the game. Alex Isola drove in Wallner with a sacrifice fly.
Wisconsin got a rally going in the bottom of the eighth as lightning flashed around the ballpark as the storm approached the stadium. Joe Gray Jr reached on an infield single with one out. Rios singled down the line in right with two outs and Wallner misplayed the ball to allow Gray to score and Wisconsin was within 9-6. Another walk to McClanahan brought the tying run to the plate, but a called third strike was recorded just before the skies opened up and the umpires called for the tarp.
The game was officially called thirty minutes later and the Kernels picked up the win.
Cedar Rapids had fourteen hits in the game and nine were for extra bases. They had three doubles and three triples to go along with their three RBI.
David Hamilton had a single and a stolen base in the seventh inning for Wisconsin. Hamilton has a ten-game hitting streak and 41 stolen bases on the season.
Game three of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Joey Matulovich will make his High-A Central debut with the Rattlers as the starting pitcher after his promotion from Carolina in the Low-A East earlier this week. Cedar Rapids has named Tyler Watson (2-0, 1.87) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 7:05pm.
There will be several giveaways at Thursday's game. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a poster featuring recently-promoted Timber Rattlers pitcher Justin Bullock, the High-A Central League Pitcher of the Month for June. The poster is courtesy of Chick-fil-A.
The first 500 children ages twelve and under will receive a pack of TOPPS baseball trading cards courtesy of Joe Torre Safe at Home.
Neuroscience Group will also be handing out a limited number of bike helmets for children and adults on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last at the main gate before the game.
All fans to attend this game may enjoy Cher-Make bratwurst for $2. Fans of legal drinking age may purchase 12-ounce craft brews that are available in the Brews on Third area and other concessions stands throughout the ballpark for only $2. It's all part of a Craft Brews & Brats Night courtesy of Fox River Brewing Company and 105.7 WAPL.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark on Wednesday, the radio broadcast begins at 6:45pm on AM 1280, WNAM. The game can also be heard on internet audio and MiLB.tv.
R H E
CR 010 034 01 - 9 14 1
WIS 003 020 01 - 6 7 0
FINAL - 8 INNINGS
Edouard Julien (6th, 1 on in 5th inning off Zach Mort, 1 out)
Max Smith (5th, 1 on in 6th inning off Taylor Floyd, 1 out)
Mat Wallner (9th, 1 on in 6th inning off Taylor Floyd, 2 out)
Thomas Dillard (14th, 1 on in 5th inning off Derek Molina, 2 out)
WP: Derek Molina (6-1)
LP: Taylor Floyd (3-2)
SAVE: Osiris German (1)
TIME: 3:22 (:30 delay)
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