Rattlers Slam South Bend
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers put some early runs on the scoreboard, received another outstanding start from Carlos Luna, and got a late grand slam from Thomas Dillard to put the game away for a 7-2 win over the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Wisconsin (32-35) scored twice in the first inning for the second game in a row. Je'Von Ward and Joe Gray Jr. delivered consecutive RBI singles with two outs to put the Rattlers up 2-0. Gray's single also knocked South Bend starting pitcher Ryan Jensen out of the game after 2/3 of an inning and 36 pitches.
Kekai Rios added a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning for a 3-0 lead for the Rattlers.
South Bend (31-36) scored their first run on their first hit. DJ Artis homered over the wall in center to start the fourth inning for the Cubs.
The homer was the only run Luna allowed. He pitched six innings, allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out nine. The nine strikeouts was a season high for Luna and he was in line for his third win of the season.
However, there were a few nervous moments after Luna left the game. Cristían Sierra walked Bryce Ball with one out in the top of the seventh. Yonathan Perlaza stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a deep drive to right-center. The ball hit off the middle of the wall for a double to score Ball and the Cubs had the tying run at second base. Sierra got out of the inning with a groundout and the Rattlers lead was at 3-2.
The Timber Rattlers put the game away in the bottom of the seventh. Hayden Cantrelle, who had three hits to extend his hitting streak to seven, started the frame with a single. Then, David Hamilton walked and Korry Howell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That brought Dillard to the plate and he jumped on the first pitch he saw and lined the ball over the wall in left-center for a grand slam.
The slam was the fourth of the season for the Timber Rattlers. Dillard's home run was his team-leading twelfth of the season. He also has 57 RBI in 2021.
Sierra tossed a scoreless eighth and John LaRossa pitched a perfect ninth to close the door on the Cubs.
The series is even at one win for each team. The Rattlers and South Bend have split eight meetings this season with each team winning four times.
Game three of the series is Thursday night. Dylan File (0-0, 3.86) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Cubs have named Matteo Bocchi (1-0, 3.55) as their starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Thursday night is Wisconsin Night at the ballpark and the first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a Wisconsin-themed Timber Rattlers baseball cap from TDS. 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. The food and drink specials are part of Craft Brews & Brats courtesy of Fox River Brewing Company and 105.7 WAPL.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, the game is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the pregame show at 6:45pm. The broadcast is also available on internet audio and MiLB.tv.
R H E
SB 000 100 100 - 2 3 0
WIS 210 000 40x - 7 11 0
DJ Artis (3rd, 0 on in 4th inning off Carlos Luna, 0 out)
Kekai Rios (2nd, 0 on in 2nd inning off Bryan King, 0 out)
Thomas Dillard (12th, GRAND SLAM in 7th inning off Eduarniel Nunez, 0 out)
WP: Carlos Luna (3-1)
LP: Ryan Jensen (2-6)
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