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 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Mears Beats Rattlers With Walkoff Homer

June 21, 2024 - Midwest League (MWL)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers News Release

FORT WAYNE, IN - Josh Mears hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a 5-4 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night at Parkview Field. Matt Wood gave the Rattlers a 4-3 lead with a two-out, RBI single in the top of the ninth. However, the Rattlers couldn't hold for a win to open the second half of the Midwest League season.

Wisconsin (42-25 overall, 0-1 second half) took the lead in the top of the second inning. Singles by Felix Valerio and Jes ú s Chirinos were followed by a walk to Tayden Hall to load the bases. Jheremy Vargas sent a grounder to third and Devin Ortiz tried to step on third and throw to first for an inning ending double play. However, Vargas beat the throw to first and Valerio scored for a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Ortiz hit a grounder to short with a runner at first, but this time it was the Rattlers who couldn't turn two. They got the force at second, but Ortiz reached. Anthony Vilar was next, and he ripped a grounder fair inside the bag at first. The ball got into the corner and by the time it was back to the infield, Ortiz scored and Vilar was on third base. Mears gave Fort Wayne (29-38, 1-0) the lead with a sacrifice fly to center.

Homer Bush Jr. hit a lead-off homer in the third inning to put the TinCaps up 3-1.

The Timber Rattlers tied the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth inning.

Luis Lara singled with two outs in the fifth. Gregory Barrios reached on an error that allowed Lara to take third base. Barrios stole second and Vilar had the ball pop out of his glove as he went to throw to second. The ball trickled to the grass behind the plate and Lara raced home to score the run.

In the sixth, Luke Adams walked but was caught trying to steal second. The Rattlers loaded the bases again on a double by Matt Wood, an infield single by Valerio that kept Wood at second, and a single by Chirinos. Hall's sacrifice fly to left was deep enough to score Wood with the tying run.

Wisconsin couldn't convert on a one-out double in the seventh and a one-out single in the eighth. It was a different story in the ninth.

Lara reached on an error and Barrios had an infield single. They were still at first and second with two outs and a 1-2 pitch due to Wood. The Rattlers catcher lined a base hit to right and Lara barely beat the throw home to give the Rattlers a 4-3 lead.

Rudy didn't allow a run after the third and he worked through six innings while keeping the offense close. Aaron Rund pitched two perfect innings out of the Rattlers bullpen before turning the game over to Will Childers in the bottom of the ninth.

Childers gave up singles to the first two batters he faced in Ethan Salas and Ortiz. Vilar was called on to bunt and he popped into a double play. Luke Adams was charging from third and made a diving catch before firing to second to double Salas off for the double play to get the Rattlers within an out of victory.

Mears, who had a solo homer on Tuesday and a three-run homer on Thursday, stepped in an cracked a 1-0 pitch off the windows of The 400 Club in center for a two-run, walkoff homer and a 5-4 Fort Wayne win.

Friday's loss was the first walkoff defeat suffered by the Timber Rattlers.

Game five of the series is Saturday night at Parkview Field. Yujanyer Herrera (3-1, 4.35) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The TinCaps have named Dylan Lesko (1-4, 6.34) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 5:35pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Community Blood Center Pregame Show at 5:15pm. The game is also available on the internet and the Bally Live App.


WIS 010 011 001 - 4 11 0

FW 021 000 002 - 5 8 2




Homer Bush, Jr. (2nd, 0 on in 3rd inning off Will Rudy, 0 out)

Josh Mears (3rd, 1 on in 9th inning off Will Childers, 2 out)

WP: Bradgley Rodriguez (2-0)

LP: Will Childers (2-1)

TIME: 2:33

ATTN: 5,350

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