Wednesday afternoon, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got their offense going, pounding the Burlington Bees for 16-hits and 10-runs. Thursday, it was time for their pitchers to get into the act, as three combined to toss a four-hit shutout of the Peoria Chiefs to win 4-0.
Jordan Yamamoto started for Wisconsin and looked real sharp through his four innings of work. The right-hander allowed just two hits and walk, while striking out five in his 56-pitch performance.
What was most impressive was that he remained poised through a first-inning rally by the Chiefs. Back-to-back singles by Eliezer Alvarez and Edmundo Sosa got the game started. Yamamoto then got a fly out for the first out of the inning, and a ground out moved both runners into scoring position. That brought Brian O’Keefe to the plate looking to give his team the early lead, but the Timber Rattlers starter struck O’Keefe out to end the threat.
From there Yamamoto took control. He issued a walk to start the second, then retired the next nine hitters he faced, including the side in the third and fourth.
While the Wisconsin starter was keeping the Peoria offense under wraps, the offense was staking him to an early 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Isan Diaz led off with a walk, but was eliminated on a double-play. Tucker Neuhaus then singled to keep the inning alive, and Max McDowell followed with a single of his own to move Neuhaus to second. That brought David Denson to the plate, looking to deliver a big clutch hit, and he did just that, lining a single into right field that scored Neuhaus to stake the home team to a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second they would extend the lead. Alan Sharkey singled to get the inning started, and Elvis Rubio followed with a shot over the left field wall to make it a 3-0 lead. The home run was Rubio’s first of the season and really got the crowd fired up.
In the fifth, Nate Griep (1-0) came out to pitch and he looked equally impressive. He retired the Chiefs in order in the fifth, and allowed only a two-out single in the sixth. Griep struck out three.
In the bottom of the fifth the Timber Rattlers extended their lead. Monte Harrison started the inning with a single, and Neuhaus followed with a deep fly ball to right that hit off the wall for a double, sending Harrison to third. McDowell’s sacrifice fly scored Harrison to make it 4-0.
In the seventh, David Buckhalter took over. He, too, was absolutely devastating, allowing a lone single in his three innings of work. He struck out three in recoding his first save of the season.
Combined, the three Wisconsin pitchers allowed just four hits and a walk, while striking out 11 Chiefs’ hitters. It was the team’s first shutout of the season.
Neuhaus led the offense, going 3-4 with a run. He also had a double and a triple. Denson was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk. Rubio drove in two.
These two teams will continue their series on Friday. The Peoria Chiefs will send Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 5.40) to the mound. He will be opposed by Jon Perrin (1-0, 1.80) for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Game time is 6:35.
By Robert Pannier