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Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Bordered by Whitecaps | WTAQ News Talk | 97.5 FM · 1360 AM

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, defeating the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 3-2 Friday night at LMCU Ballpark in a game that lasted less than two hours. Both teams have won two games in the series. Despite the loss, Wisconsin’s march to a division title was merely interrupted rather than taking a step back.

The Whitecaps (31-30) took the lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning without a hit. Wisconsin starting pitcher Will Rudy hit leadoff hitter Seth Stephenson, who promptly stole second base. Max Anderson moved Stephenson to third with a fly ball to right. Roberto Campos drove Stephenson with a sacrifice fly to left for the 1-0 lead.

Wisconsin (38-23) responded with two runs in the top of the second inning. Jesús Chirinos and Tayden Hall walked with one out. Eduarqui Fernández sent a slow grounder to second base. Anderson fielded the ball and tagged Hall, but his throw to first base was wild, allowing Chirinos to score and Fernández to take second base. Terence Doston gave the Rattlers the lead with a single to center, driving in Fernández.

Rudy retired thirteen West Michigan hitters in a row after the hit batsman. He pitched five innings, allowing one hit and striking out five without walking.

West Michigan tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning against reliever Patricio Aquino. The first two batters – Jim Jarvis and Stephenson – reached base on singles. Anderson sent a fly ball to right to move Jarvis from second to third. Then Stephenson stole second place. Campos grounded to third base with the lone play to first base and Jarvis scored the tying run.

Jarvis started the rally that put the Whitecaps ahead in the eighth inning with another lead-off single. Anderson hit a double to the right corner with one out and Jarvis raced home with the run to give West Michigan a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the ninth, Max Alba retired the Timber Rattlers for his second save. The match was played in one hour and fifty-four minutes.

Despite the loss, Wisconsin’s magic number dropped. The Cedar Rapids Kernels lost 4-1 at Lansing on Friday night to cut the Rattlers’ magic number to two. Any combination of two wins at Wisconsin or two losses at Cedar Rapids in the final five games of the first half will clinch the Timber Rattlers’ first playoff berth since 2016.

The Whitecaps host game five of the series Saturday night at LMCU Ballpark. Yujanyer Herrera (3-1, 4.62) is the projected starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Western Michigan has named Jaden Hamm (1-1, 2.17) as its starter. Game time is 5:35 PM CDT.