The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got an excellent performance from starting pitcher Tyler Woessner but needed two clutch doubles from Alex Hall and Eduardo García in the top of the eighth inning to claim a 4-1 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps Saturday night at LMCU Ballpark.
The Timber Rattlers (22-33) took the lead in the top of the second on an RBI single by Terence Doston to score Je’Von Ward.
West Michigan (29-27) had their first threat against Woessner in the bottom of the fifth. The first two batters reached on singles. Woessner escaped with a 3-6-3 double play and a strikeout to keep the Rattlers in front.
Woessner worked a perfect sixth and went back out for the seventh to become the first Wisconsin starting pitcher to pitch into the seventh inning this season. He got the first out but left after walking Justice Bigbie.
Luis Amaya took over for Woessner and threw a wild pitch on his first offering to Chris Meyers to allow Bigbie to take second base. Later in the at bat, Meyers lined a double to right-center on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game. Amaya retired the next two batters to end the inning with the score 1-1.
The run gave Woessner a no decision, and denied him his sixth win of the season, but it was a terrific outing for the right-hander. Woessner allowed one run on three hits with eight strikeouts over his 6-1/3 innings for his longest outing as a pro. He also lowered his ERA for the season to 2.38.
Wisconsin’s offense got the lead back in the top of the eighth on a pair of clutch doubles. Matt Wood started the rally with a one-out single off the first base bag to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Joe Gray Jr was hit by a pitch. Then, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.
Hall ripped a double into the corner in right with two outs to score both runners and the Rattlers had a 3-1 advantage. Eduardo García followed with a double to the corner in left and Hall scored an insurance run.
Amaya didn’t need an insurance run. He worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning before walking the lead-off batter in the bottom of the ninth. Amaya retired the next three batters, including Meyers on a flyout to left to end the game.
The win clinched Wisconsin’s second straight series win. This marks the first road series victory of the season for the Timber Rattlers.
The series finale is Sunday afternoon at LMCU Ballpark. Edwin Jimenez (2-1, 2.15) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Garrett Burhenn (2-2, 3.57) is set to start for the Whitecaps. Game time is 1:00pm CDT.