Ryan Court and Alex Glenn hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the ninth inning to provide the South Bend Silver Hawks with the winning margins in a 6-3 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Sunday at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
South Bend (14-6) scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Kevin Medrano reached on an error to start the frame and a balk on Wisconsin starter Austin Blaski moved Medrano into scoring position. Brandon Drury knocked in Medrano with a one out single for a 1-0 lead.
Tyrone Taylor tied the game on the second pitch of the bottom of the first inning. The Rattlers centerfielder lined an 0-1 offering over the wall in left field for a leadoff homer to tie the game. Michael Reed was next. Reed singled, went to second on a passed ball, and took third on a ground out. Victor Roache gave Wisconsin (8-11) the lead with a sacrifice fly to left that drove in Reed.
The Silver Hawks had runners on first and third with no outs in the top of the third inning. Medrano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but the run from third scored to tie the game 2-2.
South Bend took the lead on a run off reliever Taylor Mangum in the top of the fifth inning. The Hawks had runners on first and second with no outs. Clint Coulter tried to pick the runner off second base Pedro Ruiz took a pitch for a ball, but the throw sailed into center and allowed both runners to advance. Mangum got the first out of the inning without a run scoring, but Medrano’s fly ball to center was deep enough to score the runner from third and put the Hawks in front 3-2.
Wisconsin had trouble against South Bend starter Brandon Sinnery after the first inning. Sinnery gave up four hits and did not allow a Rattlers runner past second base in his final six innings of work. In all, Sinnery left the game after seven innings with the 3-2 lead after striking out three and walking none.
The Rattlers rallied in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Enrique Burgos. Mitch Haniger singled – his third of hit of the game – with one out to start the rally. Victor Roache followed with a single and Adam Giacalone walked to load the bases with one out. Clint Coulter blooped a single to center to score Haniger. Roache was sent home after a slight bobble by Breland Almadova in the outfield, but he was out on a strong throw to the plate.
Rodolfo Fernandez took over on the hill in the top of the ninth inning and allowed a leadoff single to Drury. Then, Court cracked a home run to left-center to make it 5-3 in favor of the Silver Hawks. Glenn followed with a home run to deep right field and South Bend was up 6-3.
RJ Hively pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save of the year.
Game two of the series with the Silver Hawks is Monday night. The Timber Rattlers have Ryan Gibbard (1-0, 1.15) as their scheduled starting pitcher. The Silver Hawks will send Cody Wheeler (1-0, 1.15) to the mound. Game time is 6:35pm.