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Rattlers Rally Past South Bend for 8-4 Win

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers erased a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the fifth, four runs in the sixth, and a run in the seventh to rally past the South Bend Cubs to an 8-4 win on Saturday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattler have a 3-2 lead in the series with one game remaining between the teams.

South Bend (32-38) put two runners on base in each of the first three innings. However, Wisconsin starting pitcher Victor Castañeda escaped each jam to keep the game scoreless. He had a strikeout and a groundout to end the first, a flyout to center to wrap the second, and a 6-3 double play to end the threat in the third.

The Rattlers offense put two runners on base with one out in the third inning, but they also could not score.

The Cubs broke through in the top of the fifth inning as they scored two runs on three hits. Yonathan Perlaza and DJ Artis set up the inning with a pair of singles. Tyler Durna drove in Perlaza with a single to right. Artis scored on a wild pitch and South Bend had a 2-0 lead.

Wisconsin (34-36) answered in the bottom of the third. Nick Kahle hit a home run to left to start the inning. Cubs starting pitcher Max Bain retired the next two batters, but walked Hayden Cantrelle and Korry Howell to extend the inning. Thomas Dillard ripped the next pitch to right and Cantrelle scored on the single. The throw to the plate missed the cutoff man and Dillard kept running for second. The throw to second was bobbled and Howell, who also kept running scored the go-ahead run.

The Timber Rattlers poured on the offense in the bottom of the sixth inning. Joe Gray Jr., who had three hits in the game to extend his current hitting streak to six games, started the inning with a triple. Carlos Rodríguez followed with a single to score Gray for the 4-2 lead. Kahle reached on an error with one out and Jesús Lujano doubled to put two runners on base and chase South Bend starter Max Bain out of the game.

David Hamilton jumped on the first pitch from reliever Blake Whitney and drove a triple to the corner in right to score two runs. A wild pitch later in the inning let Hamilton score for a 7-2 lead.

Je’Von Ward provided a treat for the fans with a titanic home run to start the Wisconsin seventh inning. The blast cleared the home run porch in right and left the stadium for Ward’s third home run of the season.

Evan Reifert, who had relieved Castañeda to start the top of the sixth inning, allowed one hit, and struck out three with no walks over three shutout innings.

The Cubs got two runs in the ninth inning on a two-run home run by Yonathan Perlaza, but it was all they could manage off John LaRossa as the next two batters grounded out to end the game.

The final game of the series is Sunday afternoon. Reese Olson (4-4, 4.64) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Chris Clarke is scheduled to make his High-A Central debut as the starting pitcher for South Bend. Game time is 1:05pm.

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