Six Perfect Innings From Wisconsin's Rodriguez Leads T-Rats Past Chiefs
PEORIA, IL - Carlos Rodriguez was in the spotlight for much of the night at Dozer Park on Saturday. The right-hander dazzled over six perfect innings as he led the charge to a 4-1 Timber Rattlers victory. Rodriguez breezed through the Chiefs order and retired all 18 batters he faced,
PEORIA, IL - Carlos Rodriguez was in the spotlight for much of the night at Dozer Park on Saturday. The right-hander dazzled over six perfect innings as he led the charge to a 4-1 Timber Rattlers victory.
Rodriguez breezed through the Chiefs order and retired all 18 batters he faced, including nine via the strikeout. On the other side of the ledger, Peoria starter Zane Mills matched him pitch for pitch. Mills worked five scoreless frames and allowed just two hits in an admirable effort for Peoria.
In the top half of the seventh, with the game still scoreless, Wisconsin broke through. A lead-off walk from Tayden Hall was followed up with a sac bunt and a base hit. Reidy Mercado, who entered mid-game for an ejected Arbert Cipion, stepped into the left-handed batter’s box with a chance to give his team the lead. Instead, Peoria reliever Chris Roycroft tugged a fastball to the backstop that plated Hall from third and gave the Timber Rattlers a 1-0 lead.
In the eighth, Wisconsin added on thanks to back-to-back two baggers from Jackson Chourio and Jeferson Quero, the latter driving home the second run of the evening to make it a 2-0 score.
In the Peoria eighth, the Chiefs still longed for their first baserunner. With one out in the eighth, Taylor Floyd fell behind in the count against Peoria catcher Aaron McKeithan who singled on a 3-1 pitch to break up the combined perfecto. The next batter, Mack Chambers, worked a free pass. An infield hit from Patrick Romeri then loaded the bases for Francisco Hernandez. Facing Wisconsin closer James Meeker, Hernandez shattered his bat but brought in a run on an RBI fielder’s choice. With the score 2-1, Meeker retired Tommy Jew to keep his club in front.
However, Wisconsin wasn’t done offensively as they brought home two more insurance runs in the ninth. A walk, base hit and hit-by-pitch loaded the sacks for Quero who delivered once more. A bloop single into shallow center to chase in a pair of runs and increased the lead to 4-1 which went final. Meeker locked down the final three outs in the ninth to secure his third save of the week.
Wisconsin earned their fourth win in five tries this week and evened the season series at 10 wins apiece with one game to play. Austin Love will throw for the Chiefs Sunday in the final home game in 2022. Sunday’s contest will serve as the annual Fan Appreciation Night. Gates open at 5:30 for the scheduled 6:35 first pitch.