Walkoff Wednesday (2002 season)

It’s Walkoff Wednesday on Rattler Radio.

Let’s head back to the 2002 season.  The Rattlers had future major leaguers like Shin-soo Choo and Greg Dobbs, but it missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1995 season.

This edition of the Timber Rattlers finished with a 53-86 record, including a 23-47 record in the second half.

NOTE: I was busy with the Green Bay Gamblers hockey team (end of regular season and playoff run) for the first month of the season, so I missed some games. However, Mike Antonellis, the Kane County Cougars announcer in 2002, has filled in the blank on the game at Kane County on April 13.  If you want to thank Mike – the radio announcer for the Portland Sea Dogs – for his contribution to this project, please visit his blog Inside the Clubhouse with Mike Antonellis.

2002:
Timber Rattlers Walkoffs (3):

Sean Peless hit the only walkoff home run for the Rattlers in 2002.

DATE: April 16
OPPONENT: Quad City River Bandits
BATTER: Sean Peless
PITCHER: Matt Vorwald
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Sean Peless hits a two-run home run with no outs in the bottom of the ninth!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Quad City 3
NOTES: The home run was the second of the game for Peless.  This was the 13th game of the season and it was his fourth homer of the season.

DATE: July 19
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Eddie Menchaca
PITCHER: Carl Michaels
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in bottom of the 12th inning
GAME WINNING PLAY: Eddie Menchaca two-out RBI single scores Luis Cordova.
FINAL SCORE:  Timber Rattlers 5, Beloit 4
NOTES: This win moved the Rattlers second half record to 6-20.  Menchaca has been the manager of the Clinton LumberKings for the last two seasons.

DATE: July 27
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
BATTER: Luis Cordova
PITCHER: Lincoln Holdzkom
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Kane County first baseman Jason Stokes dropped a throw to first to allow pinchrunner Miguel Villilo to score from second base.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, Cougars 2
NOTES: The game was tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth.  The Cougars took the lead on an RBI grounder off pitcher Jeff Perez that let a run home from third.  The Rattlers tied the game in the ninth on a two-out RBI double by Chris Collins.  Stokes, who crushed the Rattlers during the season, dropped the throw to first and the Rattlers won the game.

Opponent Walkoffs (4):

DATE: April 13
OPPONENT: Kane County
STADIUM: Phil Elfstrom Stadium
BATTER: Hunter Wyant
PITCHER: Lanny Patten
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Timber Rattlers 5, Kane County 4 in the bottom of the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Hunter Wyant hit a two-run home run with no outs
FINAL SCORE: Kane County 6, Timber Rattlers 5
NOTES: The Rattlers took a 5-4 lead with four runs in the top of the eighth inning.  This was after Dontrelle Willis held the Rattlers to an unearned run on three hits over seven innings.  BUT, Kane County scored twice in the bottom of the ninth off Lanny Patten for the win.  Scott Hicks doubled to start the inning and went to third on an error.  Then, Wyant hit his homer.

DATE: April 30 (Game One of doubleheader)
OPPONENT: Quad City River Bandits
STADIUM: John O’Donnell Stadium
BATTER: Michael Sandoval
PITCHER: Michael Kesten
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 12th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Sandoval’s RBI double with one out scores Digno Torres
FINAL SCORE: River Bandits 3, Timber Rattlers 2
NOTES: This was game one of a doubleheader.  The Rattlers tied the game 2-2 on consecutive two-out RBI singles by Miguel Villilo and Shin-Soo Choo.  Kesten pitched five scoreless innings of relief and went back out for a sixth.  He got the first out.  Then, back-to-back doubles by Torres and Sandoval ended this one.

DATE: June 5
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
STADIUM: Memorial Stadium
BATTER: Keto Anderson
PITCHER: Lanny Patten
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 12th
GAME WINNING PLAY: RBI Fielder’s Choice
FINAL SCORE: Fort Wayne 7, Timber Rattlers 6
NOTES: The Wizards had runners at first and third with one out.  Anderson hit a grounder to second.  The Rattlers got the force at second, but could not turn the double play on Anderson to end the inning and force the 13th inning.  That allowed Nick Trzeniak to score the winning run.

DATE: August 26
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
STADIUM: Veterans Memorial Stadium
BATTER: Nick Gourneault
PITCHER: Mike Kesten
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eleventh.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Gourneault hit a two-out, RBI double to drive in Mike Napoli from first base with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Cedar Rapids 2, Timber Rattlers 1
NOTES: Kesten got the first two outs of the eleventh, but walked Napoli on a 3-2 pitch.  Then, Gourneault laced a double and the Rattlers lost for the 81st time of the 2002 season.  They fell to 21-42 in the second half.

Past Walkoff Entries:

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

Walkoffs 2005-2012

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