The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers trailed 3-0 and had just one hit through 5-1/2 innings on Sunday afternoon. The offense got the wake-up call just in time as they rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin put the game into the win column with a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning for their second straight win.
Santis Sanchez gave Beloit (30-54 overall, 3-13 second half) the lead with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Skyler Weber drove in another run in the second with a two-out double and the Snappers had a 2-0 lead.
Beloit added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Devin Foyle drove in a run with a double.
Wisconsin (42-44, 11-6) struggled for the first five innings against Beloit starting pitcher Angello Infante, who retired fifteen of the first sixteen batters he faced.
The Rattlers got to Infante in the sixth inning. Kekai Rios started the inning with a walk and Brice Turang doubled with one out to put runners on second and third with one out. David Fry got Rios home with a sacrifice fly.
Infante left the game after the Rattlers got on the scoreboard. He allowed one run on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5-2/3 innings to put himself in line for his first Midwest League win.
Wisconsin chipped away with an unearned run against reliever Brice Nightengale in the seventh inning. Connor McVey drew a walk to start the inning and was at second with two outs. Howell sent a grounder to the hole at short and beat the throw for an infield single. A poor throw to first wound up in the Beloit dugout and McVey scored.
The Snappers had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the eighth inning, but failed to score as reliever Victor Castaneda got an inning-ending 3-2-3 double play.
In the bottom of the eighth, Turang walked and Fry singled with one out, but both were left stranded in scoring position when the inning ended.
Castaneda worked a scoreless top of the ninth to set the stage for the Rattlers completion of the comeback.
Gabriel García started the inning with a walk. Howell singled through the right side of the infield for his third hit of the game and that sent García around to third base. Rios, who was seeing his first action for the Rattlers since a start on June 14, was next and he delivered for Wisconsin. Rios got García home with an infield single to the hole at short to tie the game 3-3.
Turang stepped to the plate with two outs, Howell at second, and Rios at first. He fouled the first two pitches off and was quickly down in the count 0-2. He fought back to run the count full and fouled off four straight payoff pitches.
Turang lined the eleventh pitch of the at bat to center for a single. Howell raced home with the winning run and joined his teammates in chasing down Turang for a celebration in right field.
This was the third walkoff win of the season for the Timber Rattlers and their first since May 21.
The season series between the Rattlers and Beloit is even at 7-7 with one more game left to play between the in-state rivals this season.
The final game of the series is Monday afternoon. Scotty Sunitsch (6-8, 3.84) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Beloit has named Joe DeMers (1-3, 4.88) as their starter. First pitch is 12:05pm.