Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb
We should just rename the highlights The Mitch Haniger Show. Outfield assist, 2-run single, great slide to score an insurance run, and a diving catch. That’s a full day.
Between scoring their second run of the first inning and their five-run seventh, the Rattlers had two hits. They also grounded into three double plays. But, they just kept swinging away.
This is gonna sound weird, but I think the Timber Rattlers rally started in the top of the seventh. Austin Schotts singled and took a big turn around first base on the bobble by Haniger. The close play went the Timber Rattlers way and Schotts disagreed. He was making his way off the field when he said something that the plate umpire heard. It was enough to get Schotts ejected. A home run by Jake Stewart, his second of the series, made it 5-2 for the Whitecaps. Then, Stewart went to center for the bottom of the seventh. This will be important later.
Parker Berberet’s home run to left got the rally started in the bottom of the seventh. He had allowed three homers in his first 43 innings as a professional. Berberet also threw out a runner on a stolen base attempt right before the home run by Stewart.
Victor Roache had three singles for the Timber Rattlers. His average is up to .318 in his first six games with the Timber Rattlers.
His third single came in the seventh inning with Haniger at first base. A misplay by Stewart allowed the ball to get behind him and that was all Haniger needed to race home with an important insurance run.
Taylor Wall came into the game with the tying run at second and two outs in the top of the eighth inning to face Danry Vasquez. Vasquez came into the game to take over for Schotts after the ejection. Schotts was 3-for-3 in the game and had four hits in his last four plate appearances. Wall fell behind Vasquez 3-0, almost picked a runner off second, and got Vasquez to ground out to first on a 3-0 pitch to end the threat. Wall pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and earned his first professional save.
The Timber Rattlers have named their starting pitcher for game one of the series against South Bend. Austin Blaski will take the hill for his first Midwest League start. Sunday will also be his first professional start. He made twelve relief appearances in the Arizona League last year after he was drafted by the Brewers.
Great weather on tap for Sunday, too. Get out of the house and get to the game.