The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers banged out sixteen hits to beat the Lansing Lugnuts 12-4 on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Joe Gray Jr, who had a two-homer, six-RBI game on Saturday night, went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead the Wisconsin hit parade.
The Lugnuts (32-36 overall, 1-2 second half) tagged Wisconsin starting pitcher Jacob Misiorowski with his first earned run as a Rattler when they scored in the first inning. Misiorowski walked Jonny Butler on a 3-2 pitch to start the game. Jack Winkler doubled on the next offering to put runners on the corners. Misiorowski got the first out on an infield popup but gave up the run on a slow chopper to third off the bat of Danny Bautista. The throw to the plate was a little off target and Butler scored for a 1-0 lead.
Misiorowski bounced back to strike out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Timber Rattlers went in front in the second inning. Gray tripled, and Darrien Miller walked to start the inning. Ben Metzinger punched a single through the right side of the infield to score Gray with the tying run. Ernesto Martinez Jr doubled to the corner in right to knock in Miller. Then, Eduarqui Fernández singled to score two more runs for a 4-1 lead.
Winkler started the third inning with a double and took third on a one-out single by Danny Bautista. Wisconsin got the second out when Bautista was thrown out at second trying to steal. However, Misiorowski could not get out of the inning.
He went to full counts on the next two batters as a steady rain was falling before walking both to load the bases. A wild pitch let Winkler score before another walk on a full count reloaded the bases. That would be the end of the day for Misiorowski. Brannon Jordan came in from the bullpen to get the final out of the inning and keep the Rattlers in the lead.
Misiorowski racked up 67 pitches in the game with 33 pitches occurring in the top of the third inning. He allowed his first two earned runs as a Rattler, walked four, allowed four hits, and struck out five in the game.
Wisconsin’s offense went back to work in the bottom of the third as the first five hitters reached base. Matt Wood started the onslaught with a single. Gray followed with an RBI double. Miller singled to score Gray for a 6-2 lead. Metzinger singled before Martinez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs and chase Lansing starting pitcher Joelvis Del Rosario from the game.
Terence Doston singled with one out to drive in two runs against reliever Kumar Nambiar for an 8-2 advantage.
Gray, who had singled in the fourth inning stepped to the plate with the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the sixth with a chance for the cycle. He would fly out to center for a sacrifice fly to make it 9-2.
The Lugnuts scored twice in the top of the seventh inning with two outs. Bautista and Brayan Buelvas doubled to get the first run home. Clark Elliot singled to score Buelvas. Tanner Shears took over and gave up a single and a hit batsman to load the bases before getting the final out of the inning with the Rattlers up 9-4.
Wisconsin put the game away after the stretch. Robert Moore stepped in with the based loaded and one out and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly that was deep enough to advance all three runners a base. Wood singled in two more runs for a 12-4 lead. That brought Gray to the plate for another chance to complete his cycle and he brought the crowd to its feet with a deep drive to center that fell short of the second cycle in Timber Rattlers history.
Jordan, Karlos Morales, Tanner Spence, and Luis Amaya covered 6-1/3 innings out of the bullpen and allowed two runs and struck out eight while allowed one walk. Amaya closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning just before another downpour hit the stadium.
The Rattlers set new single-game highs for the season in hits and runs. All nine members of the Wisconsin hitters had at least one hit. Eight of nine hitters drove in at least one run.
Wisconsin won the final two games of the series to split the six-game series with the Lugnuts. The Rattlers wrapped up three straight weeks against the East Division with a 10-7 record.
The team drew 26,010 fans for the six-game series that ended on Sunday for an average of 4,335 fans per game.
The Timber Rattlers are off until Wednesday when they begin a six-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park. Game time is 6:30pm CDT.