Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Notebook

InsidethePark.com's Kevin Damask takes an in-depth look at the Midwest League's Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the week behind them, and the week ahead. Read on to catch all the insight on some of the future stars of the Seattle Mariners.

Despite the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers recent hitting woes, the team has been able to stay competitive behind several strong pitching performances.

Wisconsin is currently ranked fifth in the Midwest League in team pitching. On April 14, the Timber Rattlers used the combined efforts of four pitchers, while defeating the Burlington Bees, 1-0. The next game against Burlington was more of the same. They used three pitchers, which allowed three hits, leading the team to a 2-0 win. Starter Brandon Moorhead allowed two hits in the second inning, then went on to retire the next fourteen batters he faced.

On April 12, Wisconsin's Nibaldo Acosta pitched a very good outing against Burlington. Acosta pitched seven innings and allowed just two hits and no runs. Unfortunately for Acosta, Burlington's starting pitcher Dusty Hughes and reliever Jake Mullis topped his strong showing, combining to throw the first no-hitter in the Midwest League in 2004, securing a 3-0 Bees’ victory.

Ryan Feierabend, an 18-year-old 2003 third-round draft pick, was roughed up in his first start against the Clinton LumberKings on April 10. Feierabend allowed four runs off four hits, struck out two and walked four. He was pulled after just one inning. But the young southpaw rebounded in his second start against the Peoria Chiefs. Despite giving up a solo home run in the fourth inning, Feierabend settled down and promptly retired the next 12 batters he faced. He left the game in the eighth inning after striking out six and allowing one walk as the Rattlers won, 5-1.

Wisconsin has also seen success from one of their top pitching prospects, Thomas Oldham. Oldham, a left-hander drafted in the eighth round last June, pitched four impressive scoreless innings in an opening night loss to the Clinton Lumber Kings on April 8. He followed that outing with his first win of the season on April 14 against Burlington, when he pitched five innings, allowing three hits, two walks, four strikeouts and no earned runs.

Notes: The 3-0 no-hit loss in the hands of Burlington on April 12 marked the first time the Timber Rattlers have been no-hit since they changed their name from the Appleton Foxes The last time an Appleton baseball team was no-hit was June 18, 1991, when Beloit's Geoffrey Kellogg threw zeroes at the Fox... Wisconsin earned their first win of the season by beating Burlington, 5-3, on April 13. Catcher Chris Collins had three RBI in the game and shortstop Adam Jones had two doubles, scored twice and adding an RBI... Jones was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI on April 15 against Burlington. He is third in the Midwest League in doubles with four.. Infielder Jeremy Dutton broke a recent 0-for-14 hitless streak with a RBI double... Centerfielder Chris Colton has a .333 batting average in his last five games through Friday night.

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