A look back at the 1999 MWL Finals between Wisconsin and Burlington

The 2012 first round playoff meeting between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (At the time an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) and the Burlington Bees (At the time an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) is not the first time these franchises have butted heads in the Midwest League postseason.

Burlington and Wisconsin met in the 1999 Midwest League Championship series.  The Bees won the best-of-five series 3-2.

If you look at the dates, it is almost exactly 13 years ago that these two teams played for the pennant.

GAME ONE – September 14, 1999:
Wisconsin 2
Burlington 8

Winning Pitcher: Geronimo Mendoza
Losing Pitcher: Enmanuel Ulloa

Wisconsin Home Run: Craig Kuzmic

Key Moments:  The Bees scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie.

Attendance: 724

GAME TWO – September 15, 1999
Wisconsin 0
Burlington 2

Winning Pitcher: Edwin Almonte
Losing Pitcher: Jeff Heaverlo

Key Performances:  Almonte pitched a complete game for the Bees.  Heaverlo allowed three hits in eight innings.  Both Bees runs in the game (one in the third and one in the eighth) were unearned.

Attendance: 955

GAME THREE – September 16, 1999
Burlington 3
Wisconsin 4
12 innings

Winning Pitcher: Clint Chrysler
Losing Pitcher: Brannon Whatley

Wisconsin Home Runs: Craig Kuzmic and Fernando Espino

Key moments: Craig Kuzmic doubled in a run to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth.  He had his RBI double off Mark Buehrle.  Kuzmic homered – on a 1-2 pitch with two out –  in the bottom of the tenth inning to tie the game 3-3.  Fernando Espino hit his walkoff home run to win the game in the bottom of the twelfth.

Attendance: 726

GAME FOUR – September 17, 1999
Burlington 2
Wisconsin 4

Winning Pitcher: Justin Smith
Losing Pitcher: Jason Stumm

Wisconsin Home Run: Craig Kuzmic

Key Moments: Rattlers scored three runs in the first inning off Stumm.  Kuzmic homered in the eighth inning for a little insurance.

Attendance: 906

GAME FIVE – September 18, 1999
Burlington 13
Wisconsin 4

Winning Pitcher: Matt Ginter
Losing Pitcher: Aaron Looper

Wisconsin Home Runs: Juan Silvestre and Alan Zambrano

Key Moment: Game tied 3-3 with one out in the top of the eighth inning.  Bees have runners on first and second.  Ender Gonzalez singles to left. Juan Silvestre comes up throwing to the plate. Carlos Maldonado catches the ball and lets the runner slide into the tag.  Umpire Ryan West calls the runner safe.  Pandemonium ensues. Rattlers manager Steve Roadcap is ejected from the game.  Bees score two more runs in the eighth and add seven in the ninth.

Attendance: 1,223

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