Zavier Warren had another big night for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen Park on Wednesday night. Warren had four hits, including two homers, and drove in five runs as Wisconsin built an 8-1 lead and held on for an 8-6 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits. Warren is 7-for-10 with two doubles, two triples, two homers, and eight RBI in the first two games of the series with the Bandits.
The Timber Rattlers (52-45 overall, 16-16 second half) scored twice in the top of the first inning to grab the early lead. Jackson Chourio singled with one out and Darrien Miller drew a walk. Warren laced a double to right-center to score Chourio and send Miller to third. Jose Acosta knocked in Miller with a sacrifice fly and a 2-0 advantage.
The River Bandits (36-62, 10-22) loaded the bases against Wisconsin starting pitcher Israel Puello with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. Diego Hernandez singled, Peyton Wilson doubled, and Luca Tresh walked to set the table. Puello got a strikeout for the first out, but an infield single by Kale Emshoff scored a run and kept the bases loaded.
Tyler Tolbert was next, and he sent a fly to shallow right. Arbert Cipion made the catch and Wilson tagged from third to try to score. The gamble didn’t pay off as Cipion’s throw was on target and Miller had plenty of time to get the tag on Wilson for the final out of the inning.
Warren, who had two triples, a double, and three RBI on Tuesday night, stayed hot when he came to the plate in the third inning and lined a two-run home run to right-center for a 4-1 lead. The homer was Warren’s eighth of the season. Wisconsin added a run later in the inning when Acosta, singled, stole second, took third on a grounder, and scored on a wild pitch.
Chourio collected his third hit of the night on an infield single in the top of the fourth. Warren stepped to the again and lined another two-run home run, this one to the base of the Ferris Wheel beyond the wall in left. Wisconsin was up 7-1.
Antonio Piñero added an RBI single in the fifth inning to push the Rattlers advantage to 8-1.
Quad Cities rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning against Puello. Wilson and Tresh both singled with one out. Both would advance a base on a deep fly to center. Kale Emshoff singled to right to drive in both runners. Puello would walk the next batter and be removed in favor of reliever Christian Tripp.
Tripp walked the first batter he faced in the fifth to load the bases but got a strikeout to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tripp struck out the first batter he faced but walked the next three to load the bases. Taylor Floyd was called into the game from the Wisconsin bullpen.
Floyd threw a wild pitch with Herard Gonzalez at the plate to let in the first run of the inning. Then, Gonzalez drove in a run with a single. Emshoff knocked in his fourth run of the night with a grounder and Wisconsin’s lead was down to two runs.
The inning became even more treacherous as Floyd reloaded the bases on a walk and a hit batsman. Floyd ended the frame with a strikeout and the Rattlers were still up 8-6.
Gonzalez singled to start the eighth inning by Floyd, who bounced back to get a strikeout and an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to get the game to the ninth inning.
Wisconsin had a chance to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth as Hall walked, Piñero followed with a single for his fourth hit of the night, and Joe Gray Jr walked with one out to load the bases against Anderson Paulino. However, Paulino escaped the inning with a flyout to shallow left and a strikeout.
James Meeker took over on the hill for the Rattlers for the bottom of the ninth and walked Cam Williams to bring the tying run to the plate for the River Bandits. Meeker stopped the rally cold with a popup and a game-ending 4-6-3 double play. The save was Meeker’s seventh of the season. He is 5-for-5 in save opportunities against the River Bandits this season.
The Timber Rattlers, who are now 17-3 against Quad Cities in 2022, collected seventeen hits in the game to match their season-high. Warren, Piñero, and Chourio also matched their single-game high for hits as a pro. All three had the third four-hit game of their career on Wednesday night.
Chourio, the #1 prospect of the Milwaukee Brewers who is in his first pro season, had two four-hit games with the Carolina Mudcats earlier this season.
Warren, who had his first multi-homer game as professional with his dingers on Wednesday, also matched his single-game high for RBI in the contest. He had a five-RBI game on September 5, 2021 at Great Lakes.
Game three of the series is set for Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Justin Jarvis (8-6, 3.98) is set to start for the Timber Rattlers. The River Bandits have named Adrian Alcantara (4-5, 5.15) as their starter. Game time is 6:30pm.