Timber Rattlers Notebook

Need your fix of Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball? First of all, you must be a diehard. Secondly, thanks for finding us at InsidethePark.com. T-Rats beat writer Kevin Damask breaks down the action, noting the terrific performances of two youngsters, in this week's Timber Rattlers Notebook.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers went 4-3 over the past week, winning games behind uncharacteristically hot hitting. Outfielders Chris Colton and Josh Womack each swung the bat well over the week to lead the way.

Colton crushed four home runs in five games. He leads the Rattlers in home runs with seven and also in RBI with 32. With his impressive week at the plate, Colton was able to raise his batting average to .242.

He began his hot week with a three run blast in a 12-9 win over the Peoria Chiefs on May 29. He hit a solo homerun the next day in a 3-2 loss to Peoria. Colton's offensive onslaught continued on Memorial Day, when he collected three hits in the Rattlers 18-7 drubbing of the Chiefs. On June 1, the Timber Rattlers traveled to Lansing, Mich. to battle the Lansing Lugnuts. Colton hit home runs in the first two games of that series as well.

Outfielder Josh Womack, who struggled in the leadoff role earlier in the season, has re-emerged as the Rattlers' table setter. Heading into Saturday night's game, Womack had a 13-game hitting streak. He has the best batting average on the team at .272 and leads the team in Rattlers with 56 hits. Earlier in the season, Rattlers' hitting coach Dana Williams compared the speedy Womack to Scott Podsednik of the Brewers. It's easy to see why. Womack has seven stolen bases and should swipe plenty more if he can continue to get on base.

Wisconsin was able to snap a three-game losing streak on May 29 by beating the Peoria Chiefs, 12-9, at O'Brien Field in Peoria, Ill. Losing 2-0 in the fifth inning, Wisconsin scored seven runs to break a scoreless streak of 28.1 innings. Colton capped off the inning with a three-run homer. The Rattlers took a 7-2 lead and went on to win the game.

On May 30, the Wisconsin offense was held in check in a 3-2 loss to the Peoria Chiefs. Rattlers' starting pitcher Jason Mackintosh put in a strong effort, but came away with another no decision. Mackintosh pitched seven innings, struck out eight and walked none. With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Parker singled home the winning run to win the game for the Chiefs.

The Wisconsin bats came to life in a big way on Memorial Day, when they scored a season-high 18 runs in an 18-7 win over Peoria. In a game that saw 25 runs cross the plate, neither team scored until the fifth inning, when Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead. Amazingly, the Rattlers hit no home runs in their offensive outburst, collecting most of their runs on singles and sacrifice flies. Infielder Evel Bastida had his 13-game hitting streak snapped, but still contributed with two sacrifice flies.

On June 1, Wisconsin visited Oldsmobile Park to open a four game series with the Lansing Lugnuts. The Rattlers blew a 4-0 lead and went on to lose to Lansing, 10-6. Rattler's starting pitcher Nibaldo Acosta allowed seven runs in six innings as his record fell to a team-worst 2-7.

The Rattlers came back the next night to beat the Lugnuts, 7-5. Colton, outfielder Wladimir Balentien and catcher Brent Metheny all slugged home runs in the game. Colton blasted a three-run shot into right field to put the Rattlers up 3-0. Both Balentien and Metheny connected for solo homers later in the game to extend the lead. Wisconsin starting pitcher Eric O'Flaherty earned his third win of the season with a solid performance.

O'Flaherty found himself in the center of a controversial play in the fifth when Lansing's Brain Dopirak had already homered earlier in the game and with the score tied at 4-4, looked dangerous with a runner on base. O'Flaherty threw the first pitch just after Dopirak called time. Dopirak swung at the pitch anyway and blasted it out of the park. It was ruled a no play because Dopirak had called for time and he eventually fouled out during the at bat. Not since Bo Jackson…

The Timber Rattlers had productive hitting from Womack and shortstop Adam Jones their 5-3 win against Lansing on June 3. Womack drove in two runs with a double in the second inning and Jones extended the lead to 4-0 with a sacrifice fly. Despite allowing two home runs, Rattler's starter Tom Oldham struck out eight batters over 7.2 innings, improving his record to 3-3. Wisconsin finished their 12 game road trip in losing fashion, dropping a contest, 7-2, to Lansing on June 4. The Lugnuts pounded five home runs off Rattlers' pitching and improved their record to 32-23.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers returned home on Saturday to Fox Cities Stadium to begin a four-game series against the Swing of the Quad Cities.

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