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Wisconsin Rallies Past River Bandits

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the top of the sixth inning and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park.  Antonio Piñero gave the Rattlers the lead with a two-out, two-run single.  Zach Mort, Robbie Baker, and James Meeker held the lead over the final four innings to finish the game.

 

The River Bandits (37-63 overall, 11-24 second half) got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the bottom of the third inning.  Mort, the Wisconsin starting pitcher, hit Saul Garza with a 1-2 pitch to start the inning.  Rubendy Jacquez sent a grounder just fair inside the first base bag and into the Wisconsin bullpen for an RBI triple.  Diego Hernandez followed with another grounder that was just fair inside the first base line for and RBI double and a 2-0 lead.  The River Bandits had one hit for the rest of the game.

 

Quad Cities starting pitcher Rylan Kaufman kept the Timber Rattlers off the scoreboard over five innings.  He allowed three hits and struck out eight as he turned the two-run lead over to the bullpen for the sixth inning.

Wisconsin (54-46, 18-17) got their offense going with one out in the sixth against Patrick Halligan.  Zavier Warren walked with one out and that was followed by singles from Joe Gray Jr and Darrien Miller to load the bases.  Jose Acosta got Warren home with a grounder to first that also moved Gray and Miller into scoring position for Piñero.

Halligan was ahead in the count 1-2, but Piñero didn’t bite on a couple of pitches outside the strike zone to run the count full.  Piñero lined the payoff pitch to left-center to score both Gray and Miller to give the Rattlers a 3-2 lead.

Mort went back out for the bottom of the sixth inning and retired the side in order, including strikeouts of the last two batters he faced.  Mort allowed two runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in his six innings.

Baker was the first reliever out of the Wisconsin bullpen.  He worked a 1-2-3 seventh but hit Garza to start the eighth.  A sacrifice bunt moved Garza to second.  Tyler Tolbert, who was 44-for-44 in stolen base attempts coming into the game, was called on to pinch-run for Garza.  Baker got the second out on a grounder to short.  Tolbert stole third with Peyton Wilson at the plate, but Baker stayed cool on the warm, humid evening and struck out Wilson to end the threat.

Meeker took over for the bottom of the ninth and walked the lead-off batter to put the tying run on base.  Meeker, who picked up saves on Wednesday and Friday night in this series, retired the next three batters, including the last two via the strikeout to close out the game and give him his ninth save of the season.

Piñero went 2-for-4 with a stolen base on Saturday night.  He is 10-for-18 in the series at Quad Cities.

Wisconsin is now 19-4 against the River Bandits in 2022.

 

The final game of the series is Sunday afternoon at Modern Woodmen Park and the pitching matchup is a rematch from game one on August 2.  Justin Bullock (1-2, 5.21) is set to start for Wisconsin with Beck Way (0-1, 9.64) of the River Bandits as his mound opponent.  Game time is 1:00pm. 

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