Despite Early Offense, Kernels Edge Rattlers 3-2

by Kevin Kimmes

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

TIME: 2:38
ATTN: 758

Kernels Pop Rattlers Bubble With Opening Day Win

by Kevin Kimmes

The Timber Rattlers season officially kicked off last night as 4,576 fans packed in to Time Warner Cable Field for some early April baseball. Despite temperatures that quickly dipped as the sun went down, the crowd was in high spirits for the first game of the new season.

The Timber Rattlers’ starting pitcher, Matt Miller (L, 0-1), found himself in trouble right out of the gate as he walked the Kernels’ second baseman, Kevin Mosequit, on 4 straight pitches to start the game. Despite the struggles, he was able to put together 2 innings of scoreless ball.

In the 3rd inning, the Kernels’ put on a hitting clinic resulting in 4 runs scored including doubles from third baseman Kaleb Cowart, first baseman Frazier Hall, and catcher Abel Baker. The Timber Rattlers would fight back in the bottom of the 3rd, scoring their first run of the season when 1st baseman Jason Rodgers singled off Kernels starting pitcher Austin Wood, allowing shortstop Yadiel Rivera to score from third. Rivera had reached base earlier when he was hit in the helmet by a wild pitch to start off the bottom half of the inning.

The Kernels would tack on two more runs in the 7th inning as left fielder Ryan Jones scored from first on a Cowart triple. Later, Cowart would touch home after a wild pitch from Timber Rattlers reliever Kevin Shackelford got by catcher Rafael Neda allowing him to score from 3rd.

Not content with a  five run lead, the Kernels would score one more run off of Timber Rattlers’ reliever Tommy Toledo in the top of the 9th inning off of yet another double by Hall.

Despite being down by six runs heading into the final half inning of play, the Timber Rattlers decided not to go quietly. Left fielder Ben McMahan lead off the bottom of the 9th with a double to center. Then after two quick outs by 3rd baseman Greg Hopkins and catcher Rafael Neda, designated hitter Brandon Macias would match McMahan’s double with one of his own bringing the score to 6-2. Unfortunately, this would be all the offense the squad could muster as Rivera would record the final out of the game in the next at bat.

The Timber Rattlers will play game two of this three game series tonight at Time Warner Cable Field with a 6:35 pm start time. The Timber Rattlers will bring Drew Gagnon to the mound to face Cedar Rapids’ Mike Clevinger in what should be an exciting contest.

Game at a Glance:

WP: Austin Wood (1-0)
LP: Matt Miller (0-1)

Star of the Game: Kaleb Cowart (Cedar Rapids) – 4/5 (.800) – 2 singles, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI,

TIME: 2:48
ATTN: 4,576