For the sixth time in his last seven starts, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers left-hander Kodi Medeiros delivered a start where he allowed two runs or less, this time allowing a lone unearned run in a 5-1 victory over the Beloit Snappers. His pitches were especially sharp on this night, holding the home team to just one hit in five-plus innings against the Wisconsin starter.
Joey Wagman started for Beloit, and he retired six of the first seven Timber Rattlers hitters he faced, only allowing a walk in the first. In the third the visitors plated a run against him when Brandon Diaz led off the top half of the inning with his fifth home run of the season.
For the first five innings of the game that one run looked like it was plenty enough support for Medeiros. The left-hander allowed just two walks through the first five frames, and was just one over the minimum to that point. He had also struck out six.
In the top of the sixth the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers added three more runs, staking their starter to a four-run lead. Elvis Rubio singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Dustin DeMuth. Sthervin Matos grounded into a fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners with two outs.
Koby Gauna took over in relief of Kevin Johnson who had entered the game in the fifth. With Greg McCall at the plate Matos broke for second as Rubio headed for home. Both runners reached safely on the duel stolen base, to extend the lead to two. McCall battled to draw a walk, and he and Matos scored on a double by Alan Sharkey to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of the sixth the Snappers finally got through against Medeiros. Justin Higley struck out to begin the bottom the frame, but Jose Chavez drew a walk and Edwin Diaz reached on an error by the Wisconsin third baseman. James Harris flew out for the second out of the inning, but Joe Bennie lined a double down the line to break up the no-hitter and the shutout. Chavez came around to score and Medeiros was done for the night.
It was an impressive start for the 19-year-old. Medeiros (3-2) went 5.2 innings, allowed just 1 hit, 3 walks and 1 run; it was unearned. He also struck out 7. What was most impressive about his stuff on this night was he really had his secondary pitches biting, forcing hitters to drive the ball into the ground. Of the 17 outs he recorded, seven came on strikeouts and eight on ground outs, nine if you include one runner being wiped out by a double-play. Only one out was recorded via the fly ball; a truly impressive performance.
Josh Uhen closed out the sixth and pitched well for 1.1 innings, allowing a hit and a walk, while striking out two. David Burkhalter pitched the final two innings of the game to record his third save of the season. He struck out four in the two innings of work.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers did score one more run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Diaz, who had homered earlier, showed his versatility by laying down a bunt that he beat out for a single. Jose Pena was the next batter and he lined a double into the gap in right field to bring Diaz home. That made it 5-1.
Diaz was one of two Timber Rattlers players to record two hits in the game. DeMuth also had two. Diaz scored twice and had an RBI. Sharkey also added two RBI.
These same two teams will go at it on Saturday. The Beloit Snappers send Heath Fillmyer (0-7, 8.50) to the mound, looking for his first win of the season. Angel Ventura (2-2, 2.22) goes to the mound for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
By Robert Pannier