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McGee Drives in Six and Miller Drives in Five for 12-9 Wisconsin Win

Timber Rattlers score eight runs in first inning and built 12-2 lead
Darrien Miller trots into third base after his grand slam home run in the first inning against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on July 1, 2022. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)
July 2, 2022

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored eight runs in the first inning and held on for a 12-9 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Friday Night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Darrien Miller hit a grand slam in the first inning and had

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored eight runs in the first inning and held on for a 12-9 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Friday Night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Darrien Miller hit a grand slam in the first inning and had three hits and five RBI in the game. Ashton McGee hit a three-run home run in the first and wound up with three hits and six RBI for the Rattlers.

Click here for the boxscore of this game

The Kernels (45-28 overall, 2-5 second half) had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top of the first inning. Wisconsin starter Antoine Kelly walked the first two batters and hit the third to load the bases with no outs. Kelly bounced back to strikeout the next two batters and ended the inning on a force play at second base.

The Timber Rattlers (42-30, 6-1) had a similar golden opportunity in the bottom of the first. Cedar Rapids starter Bradley Hanner walked the first three Rattlers he faced to load the bases with no outs. Tristan Peters singled to drive in the first run. Then, Miller cracked a grand slam for a 5-0 lead.

Wisconsin wasn’t done. The next two hitters singled and that was the end of the game for Hanner. McGee greeted reliever Miguel Rodriguez with a blast that left the ballpark for a three-run home run and an 8-0 advantage.

In the top of the second, Kelly hit the first Kernel and walked the next two to load the bases again with no outs. Cedar Rapids scored their first run when Kelly hit Kyler Fedko to force in a run. Alerick Soularie drove in the next run with a sacrifice fly. Kelly got the next two outs without any drama.

McGee added to the Wisconsin lead in the third with an RBI single to score Jose Acosta.

Miller and McGee combined to drive in three more Wisconsin runs in the bottom of the fourth. Miller’s slow roller up the third base line was good for an infield single to drive in a run. McGee stepped to the plate with two runners on later in the inning and he lined the ball to the 405’ sign in the deepest part of the park. Both runners scored and McGee hit second base and appeared ready to race to third for a triple. However, McGee stumbled a step after hitting the bag and was out as he tried to make third.

The Kernels knocked Kelly out of the game with one out in the fifth inning after he walked Wander Javier to put two runners on base. Kelly walked seven, hit four, and struck out seven without allowing a hit while throwing 96 pitches.

Kelly reached 100 strikeouts on the season with his final K of the game on Friday. He leads the Midwest League in strikeouts and has reached 100 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched.

Cedar Rapids got their first hit of the game when Dylan Neuse reached on an infield single against reliever Joey Matulovich to load the bases. Will Holland was next, and he walked to force in a run. Then, Jake Rucker tripled to the corner in right to score three runs.

The game stayed 12-6 until the top of the ninth inning when it got very interesting.

Brady Schanuel, who got the final out of the top of the eighth inning with two runners on base, walked the leadoff batter in the ninth. A single and a one-out walk loaded the base. Schanuel hit Fedko to force in a run. Wisconsin pitchers walked ten and hit six Kernels batters in the game. This hit batsman ended the night for Schanuel and brought Robbie Baker into the game in a save situation trying to protect a 12-7 lead.

Baker struck out the first batter he faced for the second out but gave up a two-run single to Yunior Severino to bring Seth Gray to the plate as the potential tying run.

The comeback didn’t happen. Baker struck out Gray swinging for the final out and his first save of the season.

Cedar Rapids had seven hits and stranded thirteen runners as they went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the game.

The Timber Rattlers have won three straight games and eight of their last nine.

Game five of the series is Saturday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Russell Smith (1-4, 5.53) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Cedar Rapids has named John Stankiewicz (2-4, 6.55) as their starter. Game time is 6:40pm.

You are invited by Royal Decree to attend Princess Night! Come out to the game to meet some popular storybook princesses for an enchanting night at the ballpark. Plus, the first 500 fans to attend this Family Night will receive a tiara courtesy of Stacey Hennessey Century 21 Affiliated and 101.1 WIXX. Tundraland presents postgame fireworks show with Kids Run the Bases is available for children twelve and under courtesy of Meijer after the fireworks.

If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio is set to start with the pregame show at 6:20pm. The game is available to subscribers of MiLB.tv. Plus, Saturday’s game will be broadcast on CW-14 in Northeastern Wisconsin starting at 6:30pm.