Logan Gillaspie was pitching a gem against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Tuesday night at Perfect Game Field, but the home team spoiled the night with an eighth-inning rally to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4-3 in the first game of a four-game series.
Brice Turang, who had two hits on the night for his 23rd multi-hit game of the season, started the rally that put the Rattlers (34-40 overall, 3-2 second half) in front in the third inning. He reached on an infield single and moved to third on consecutive wild pitches by Kernels starter Kai-Wen Teng. David Fry cashed in Turang with a ringing double to left-center. The double was the 29th of the season for Fry. Later in the inning, Connor McVey’s bunt single scored Fry from third for a 2-0 advantage.
Gillaspie walked Yeltsin Encarnacion, the first batter he faced in the game. Then, he retired Chris Williams on a flyout to center. Encarnacion was caught trying to steal second for the second out of the first inning. Gillaspie retired Gabe Snyder for the final out of the first inning. He would retire the next sixteen batters in a row to give him a streak of eighteen batters set down in order as he carried the no-hitter into the seventh inning.
It would be Williams who broke up the no-hit bid and the shutout when he launched a one-out, solo homer out of the stadium on a 1-2 pitch from Gillaspie. Snyder would walk on four pitches, but Gillaspie got out of the seventh on a 6-4-3 double play to maintain the 2-1 lead.
The Kernels (42-33, 3-2) got Gillaspie out of the game in the eighth inning on a lead-off single and walk. Reliever Victor Castaneda took over for Gillaspie, but walked the first batter he faced to load the bases with no outs. Castaneda had walked two and struck out 23 in his first 14-2/3 innings pitched for the Rattlers this season.
Jacob Pearson appeared to strike out on a 1-2 pitch, but was ruled to have checked his swing in time. Pearson got the tying run home when he grounded into a force play at second.
Estamy Ureña followed and lined a double into the corner in left to drive in two runs and Cedar Rapids was up 4-2.
Korry Howell gave the Timber Rattlers hope in the ninth inning with a two-out, solo homer. The blast was Howell’s first of the year. But, reliever Alex Schick, who had entered the game in the eighth inning, got the final out of the game with his fourth strikeout and the Kernels celebrated the comeback win over Wisconsin.
Gillaspie was the tough-luck loser for the Timber Rattlers. He pitched seven innings, allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out eight.