Wiemer's Late Homer Puts Wisconsin Ahead to Stay at Great Lakes
MIDLAND, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are standing in the way of the Great Lakes Loons playoff hopes in the final series of the regular season. On Tuesday night, Wisconsin denied the Loons a chance to pick up ground in the race with a 6-3 victory at Dow Diamond. Nick Kahle drove in three runs and Joey Wiemer hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth for the Rattlers.
Kahle gave Wisconsin (55-59) a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. Ashton McGee walked with two outs and Kahle followed with an opposite field homer to right. The home run was his fourth of the year but his second in as many games played by Kahle.
The Loons (62-53) charged to the lead in the middle innings with three solo home runs. Andy Pages hit a lead-off home run to start the bottom of the fourth. Deacon Liput tied the game with a two-out, solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Ward put Great Lakes in front when he hit the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth. The home run by Pages was his 31st of the season. Ward now has 27 home runs on the year.
The Rattlers came back to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Freddy Zamora doubled to start the inning and to move his hitting streak to ten games. Then, Zamora stole third. Kahle drove in Zamora with a weak grounder up the first baseline and the score was tied 3-3.
Wiemer, who had hit four home runs in six games against Great Lakes during a six-game series at Wisconsin in early August, stepped to the plate with one out in the eighth inning and crushed a 434-foot home run to left for a 4-3 advantage.
Felix Valerio provided insurance for the Timber Rattlers in the top of the ninth with a two-out, two-run double to center and a 6-3 lead.
Evan Reifert, the fourth Wisconsin pitcher of the night, took over in the bottom of the ninth and almost did something very special to end the game. Reifert struck out the first two batters on six pitches and was ahead of Liput 0-2 before he missed with a ball and the chance to record an Immaculate Inning was missed. Reifert would strikeout Liput on a 2-2 pitch to close out the game and record his sixth save of the season.
The Loons entered Tuesday one game behind Cedar Rapids in the race for the Wild Card playoff spot in the High-A Central League. The Kernels lost 6-1 at Peoria on Tuesday to remain a game up on Great Lakes. Lake County beat Beloit 8-2 at home and they are now tied with the Loons at 62-53. There are five games remaining in the season.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at Dow Diamond. Wisconsin plans to send out Brandon Knarr (1-1, 6.75) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Logan Byer (0-5, 5.54) is set to start for the Loons. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM 1280, WNAM and on internet audio with the pregame show at 5:45pm. The game is also available on MiLB.tv.
R H E
WIS 020 000 112 - 6 8 0
GL 000 111 000 - 3 7 1
Nick Kahle (4th, 1 on in 2nd inning off Hyung-il Choi, 2 out)
Joey Wiemer (12th, 0 on in 8th inning off Jose Hernandez, 1 out)
Andy Pages (31st, 0 on in 4th inning off Victor Castañeda, 0 out)
Deacon Liput (11th, 0 on in 5th inning off Victor Castañeda, 2 out)
Ryan Ward (27th, 0 on in 6th inning off Harold Chirino, 0 out)
WP: Harold Chirino (5-5)
LP: Jose Hernandez (1-2)
SV: Evan Reifert (6)
TIME: 2:50 (:15 delay)
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