Mike Garza’s two-out double in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday afternoon lifted the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to an 8-7 win over the Kane County Cougars at Grand Chute and brought the club to within a game of the Western Division wild-card spot in the Midwest League.
It was Wisconsin’s seventh walkoff win of the season and came after the Cougars had tied it up in the top of the ninth.
It was a back-and-forth affair all afternoon. The teams traded first-inning runs, with Alfredo Rodriguez tying the game in the bottom of the frame when he scored on an error by Kane County shortstop Marco Hernandez—one of six errors the Cougars made on the day.
Kane County got two runs in the top of the second and Wisconsin roared back with three in the bottom half.
Dustin Houle reached on a walk and Chris McFarland reached on an error when second baseman Brad Zapenas dropped the ball at second base on a double-play turn. Rodriguez sacrificed and third baseman Giuseppe Papaccio threw to first … except no one was covering the bag. The ball rolled down the right field line as Houle and McFarland scored. Rodriguez went to third and scored on Tyrone Taylor’s sacrifice fly.
The Cougars tied it with a run in the third and the Rattlers countered with two more in the fourth.
Houle scored on a double-play ball by Michael Reed with the bases loaded and Taylor followed with an RBI single to make it 6-4.
Kane County tied the game again in the fifth with a pair of runs off starter Jorge Lopez, who surrendered 10 hits and six runs, four earned, in his five innings of work. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out three.
It stayed 6-6 until the eighth. Houle led off the inning with a double and went to third when center fielder Oliver Zapata couldn’t come up with the ball cleanly. Rodriguez lofted a sacrifice fly to give the Rattlers the lead.
But Jonathan Arnold served up a homer in the top of the ninth that tied the game, setting the stage for Garza’s heroics in the ninth. Taylor started the inning with a bunt single and two outs later, scored from first on Garza’s drive into the right-field corner. Arnold (4-2) got the win despite allowing the ninth-inning homer, striking out three in his two innings of work. Hobbs Johnson worked a scoreless sixth and seventh, striking out five.
Rodriguez, Taylor, Garza and Houle each had two hits for the Rattlers, while Houle scored three runs on the day.
The High-A Brevard County Manatees worked in and out of trouble all game long, stranding 16 runners on base—a season high—in a 4-1 win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers Tuesday night at Viera, Fla.
Lakeland’s only run was an unearned tally in the fifth off starter Tyler Cravy, who was outstanding once again. He scattered seven hits over five innings with a walk and seven strikeouts, running his strike of consecutive starts allowing one or no runs to six.
The Manatees tied the game with a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Nick Ramirez. Ben McMahan gave Brevard the lead with an RBI double in the seventh and Cameron Garfield smacked a two-run double in the eighth for a little insurance.
Matt Miller (4-3) worked two scoreless innings, pitching around two hits and three walks, and got the win. Tommy Toledo allowed a hit over his two innings to earn his 19th save.
Ramirez had a pair of hits for Brevard and his fifth-inning RBI upped his team-leading total to 76.
Eugenio Velez ran his hitting streak to a team-best 16 games Tuesday night, but the Triple-A Nashville Sounds fell to the Oklahoma City RedHawks 5-4 at Oklahoma City.
The win clinched the American Southern Division for the RedHawks. The Sounds took a 1-0 lead in the second on Hunter Morris’ 23rd homer of the season—making it seven straight games Nashville has homered.
The RedHawks came back to lead with three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth off starter Zack Kroenke (5-16), who took his Pacific Coast League-leading 16th loss by allowing four runs and seven hits over five innings while walking five.
The Sounds rallied for two in the sixth on an RBI triple by Velez, who later scored on a passed ball, to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Oklahoma City got a run back in the seventh. Velez produced a two-out RBI single in the eighth, but the Sounds’ rally fell short.
Travis Webb struck out two in a perfect sixth inning for Nashville and Tim Dillard allowed a run on two hits in two innings.
Velez and Hainley Statia had two hits each as the Sounds were limited to just six on the night.
The Double-A Huntsville Stars rallied back from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the sixth, but the Mississippi Braves came back with a run in the eighth for a 4-3 win at Pearl, Miss., Tuesday night.
Chadwin Stang scored the Stars’ first run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and Brock Kjeldgaard followed with a two-run single to tie the game.
Brooks Hall started for the Stars, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk in just three innings. Casey Medlen worked two scoreless frames and Arcenio Leon and David Goforth each blanked the Braves for an inning. Kevin Shackelford (1-1) was the hard-luck loser, surrendering the go-ahead run in unearned fashion in the eighth when shortstop Hector Gomez threw a ball away.
Nick Shaw had two hits for Huntsville.
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