On Friday evening, fans in attendance at Time Warner Cable Field were treated to something special: the first Timber Rattler homerun of the season, and the team wasted very little time getting it done.
With the first two batters retired in the bottom of the 1st inning, first baseman Jason Rogers hit a bomb to left field off of Kernels starting pitcher Mike Clevinger that left the park with room to spare. The shot gave the Timber Rattlers their first lead of the season as they pulled ahead of the Kernels 1-0 in the early going.
Timber Rattlers starter Drew Gagnon then went on to protect his teams lead by striking out each of the next 6 batters he faced. While this should have gotten him out of the 2nd and 3rd innings, the 3rd strike that he threw to Kernels’ first baseman Kevin Mosequit got past Timber Rattlers catcher Parker Berberet allowing Mosequit to reach base and the 3rd inning to continue.
The error would prove to be costly as left fielder Ryan Jones would be walked in the next at bat, and third baseman Kaleb Cowart would follow that up with a single which allowed Mosequit to score and tie the game at 1 run a piece.
The Kernels added to their lead in the 6th after right fielder Gary Mitchell hit a ground rule double to left to start the inning. Mitchell advanced to third on a grounder by center fielder Chevy Clarke, and eventually scored on an RBI grounder by Kernels catcher Abel Baker.
The Timber Rattlers answered back in the bottom of the 7th when Brandon Macias drew a walk to start the frame. He would steal 2nd during shortstop Adrian Williams at-bat, and would eventually score on a Williams double bring the score to a 2-2 tie.
Unfortunately for the Timber Rattlers, the Kernels where not done yet. Baker drew a walk from Timber Rattlers reliever Mark Williams to start off the 9th. He would be replaced on the base paths by pinch runner Andy Workman who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Mosequit to put the team back in the drivers seat, with a score of 3-2.
The Timber Rattlers were unable to get any offense going in the bottom of the 9th, and all 3 batters were retired in order.
The season opening series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels wraps up this afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field with a 1:05 pm start. The Timber Rattlers will send righty Brandon Williamson to the mound to face Cedar Rapids’ lefty Ryan Crowley.
Game at a Glance:
WP: Ty Kelly (Cedar Rapids, 1-0)
LP: Mark Williams (Wisconsin, 0-1)
BS: Jacob Negrete (Cedar Rapids, 1)
Player of the game: Kaleb Cowart (Cedar Rapids) – 2/4 (.667) – 1 single, 1 double, 1 RBI