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Link Report for Thurs. 9/6 -- Chad Pierce and Defense Force Game Three Friday Night

Mass Haas

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Thursday's Daily Menu:


Times listed are Central


Nashville: Season complete; final stats here.




Huntsville: Season complete; final stats here.




Brevard County: Season complete; final stats here




Wisconsin: RHP Chad Pierce at home vs. Burlington (Athletics), 6:15 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime; second game of the first round best-of-three; Bees lead series, 1-0


Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM




Helena: RHP Tyler Wagner at home vs. Great Falls (White Sox), 7:50 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime


Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Helena feed from the MiLB main audio page




Arizona Rookie (Maryvale): Season complete; final stats here




DSL Brewers: Season complete; final stats and analysis here

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AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (FINAL)


AA - Southern League North Division (FINAL)


High-A - Florida State League North Division (FINAL)


A - Midwest League Western Division (FINAL)


Rookie Advanced - Pioneer League North Division


Rookie - Arizona Summer League (FINAL)


DSL - Dominican Summer League San Pedro de Macoris Division (FINAL)




NOTE: AAA Nashville, Rookie Maryvale and the DSL do not play a split schedule. When you click on a standings link for Huntsville, Brevard County, Wisconsin, and/or Helena, you'll then be able to choose 1st half and/or overall standings in addition to the 2nd half standings.

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Final: Burlington 0, Wisconsin 4


Pierce's gem pushes playoff series to Game Three


GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers needed a win on Thursday night to extend their season. What the Rattlers got was something special. Chad Pierce tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout to lead Wisconsin past the Burlington Bees 4-0 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers offense scored four runs in the first two innings and Pierce took over from there.


Wisconsin evened the best-of-three series with the Bees at 1-1 with the victory. The Rattlers and Bees will meet in Game Three on Friday night at 6:35pm. The winner will move on to the Western Division Finals. The loser will be done for the 2012 season.


The Rattlers jumped on Bees starting pitcher AJ Cole with three consecutive two-out RBI hits in the bottom of the first inning. Brandon Macias took advantage of a dropped foul pop and reached on a single. He took second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a wild pitch. Nick Ramirez blooped in a single to left field to drive in Macias with the go ahead run.


A passed ball allowed Ramirez to take second base. Cameron Garfield knocked in Ramirez with a ground rule double to right-center. Yadiel Rivera continued the onslaught with a single to left that scored Garfield from second for a 3-0 lead.


Wisconsin made it 4-0 in the second inning. Rafael Neda walked to start the inning. A wild pitch moved him to second base and a single by Macias put runners on first and third with one out. Chadwin Stang sent a slow grounder to short. The throw to second forced Macias, but Stang beat the throw to first to allow Neda to score for a 4-0 lead.


Pierce cruised through the game. The only time he faced a batter with a runner in scoring position was in the second inning. He retired Royce Consigli on a fly ball to center with runners on the corners and two outs.


The Fond du Lac, Wisconsin native was backed up by solid to spectacular defense. Both Ben McMahan and Max Walla made sliding catches in the first inning, Macias made a diving grab of a hot grounder in the fourth and turned it into an inning ending force out. Centerfielder Chadwin Stang ran down several fly balls in the gaps.


Pierce even got into the defensive act after a leadoff single by Aaron Shipman in the top of the sixth. The Rattlers right-hander speared a hard grounder right back at him off the bat of Sam Roberts and turned it into a 1-6-3 double play. He walked two and struck out three in the game.


The 9-inning complete-game shutout by Pierce was the first by a Rattlers pitcher since Tyler Thornburg tossed a two-hitter at Kane County on May 29, 2011. The last 9-ininng complete game shutout by a Rattlers pitcher in the playoffs was by Cha Seung Baek, who pitched a 6-hitters at Beloit on September 8, 2000.


Wisconsin will send David Goforth (10-8, 4.66) to the mound as their starting pitcher on Friday night. Burlington has named Drew Granier (11-10, 3.21) as their Game Three starting pitcher. Game time is 6:35pm.


The Timber Rattlers will have a bonus Bang for Your Buck Night with soda, hotdogs, and beer for $1 on Friday night. Plus, Friday is also a College Night. Reserved bleacher seats are just $1 with a College ID.


Friday is a bonus North Shore Bank Family Night. Kids 12 and under eat free and Kids 14 and under will get to run the bases courtesy of Jernagan's Health Mart.


If you can't make it to the game, it will be broadcast on AM1280, WNAM and timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. MiLB.TV subscribers may also catch the game over the internet.


WP: Chad Pierce (1-0)

LP: AJ Cole (0-1)


TIME: 2:39

ATTN: 1,756


Wisconsin Box Score


I thought about just writing "Chad Pierce" and leaving that as my only comment, but there was just so much awesome baseball tonight that I had to write more. I'll start with Pierce because he was unbelievable. A complete game shutout, with only three hits and two walks. He was never really in trouble the whole game. Talk about stepping up in the playoffs! The Rattlers seemed really loose despite it being a win or go home game, and they started off with excellent defense right from the very start. Ben McMahan had a nice diving catch in left field and then Max Walla followed with an even better sliding grab along the fence in right field to end the first. Brandon Macias had a great diving stab at third to get a force at second to end the third inning as well. Chadwin Stang had a couple of long fly balls that he ran down and Yadiel Rivera played his usual great Yadiel Rivera defense. He's so smooth that if they opened the gates early enough, I would go just to watch Rivera take infield. Pretty much every player turned in at least one web gem type play.


Offensively the Rattlers jumped on AJ Cole early and he never looked comfortable out there. Macias and Rivera each were 2-4. Macias's second inning at bat was incredible as he kept fouling off pitch after pitch before finally ripping a single. There was a great sequence during that at bat, as Macias was fouling off pitches and Cole was worrying about Rafael Neda at second base. Cole got visibly frustrated and stepped off the mound. On the very next pitch Matt Erickson had Neda take off for third. The pitch was fouled off but it was almost like they were saying, ok we're in your head, now we're really going to mess with you. A couple pitches later Macias singled back up the middle. Nick Ramirez was 1-2 with a pair of walks. He had a big two out opposite field single in the first to get the TRats on the board. Cameron Garfield also chipped in with a double and Ben McMahan had a single.


Side rant: We can put 5000+ in the stands for Myron Noodleman or Birdzerk but only 1700 for a playoff game? I know, school's back in session, but come on Rattlers fans, we haven't had a playoff game since 2005.

Hopefully with a Friday night game tomorrow more folks will show up.


Wisconsin Play By Play


All the offense Wisconsin would need behind Pierce tonight

Wisconsin Bottom of the 1st

Dropped foul pop error by first baseman Maxwell Muncy.

Brandon Macias singles on a ground ball to right fielder John Wooten.

Chadwin Stang out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher A. J. Cole to first baseman Maxwell Muncy. Brandon Macias to 2nd.

With Ben McMahan batting, wild pitch by A. J. Cole, Brandon Macias to 3rd.

Ben McMahan strikes out swinging.

Nick Ramirez singles on a soft line drive to left fielder Bobby Crocker. Brandon Macias scores.

With Cameron Garfield batting, passed ball by John Nester, Nick Ramirez to 2nd.

Cameron Garfield hits a ground-rule double (1) on a fly ball to right-center field. Nick Ramirez scores.

Yadiel Rivera singles on a soft line drive to left fielder Bobby Crocker. Cameron Garfield scores. Yadiel Rivera to 2nd on the throw.

With Max Walla batting, wild pitch by A. J. Cole, Yadiel Rivera to 3rd.

Max Walla strikes out swinging.


Rattler Radio highlights and game two thoughts. You can see many of those great defensive plays I talked about here.


I probably won't have my photos from tonight's game online until tomorrow afternoon but here are a couple of my favorites from tonight's game











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It's going to be a tough draw against high school football tomorrow as well.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Fond du Lac's Pierce pitches shutout as Wisconsin evens series against Burlington

by Tim Froberg, Post-Crescent staff writer


GRAND CHUTE — Chad Pierce watched Burlington pitchers mow down Wisconsin hitters in a disappointing Timber Rattlers postseason opener.


He reversed the scenario in a must-win Game 2.


The poised right-hander from Fond du Lac blanked the Bees on a three-hit shutout to keep the Rattlers’ season alive with a 4-0 Midwest League playoff win Thursday night before a small but energized crowd of 1,756 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.


The Rattlers pulled even at 1-1 in the best-of-three first-round series and will try to win it tonight at home in the decisive finale set for a 6:35 p.m. start.


In a near identical Game 1 Wednesday that resulted in a different outcome, Burlington prevailed by the same 4-0 score on a three-hitter by three Bees pitchers.


“Pierce did exactly what their pitchers did to us in the first game and that’s what we needed,” said Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson. “Now, the momentum is back on our side.”


Pierce delivered the first nine-inning complete-game shutout of the Timber Rattlers’ season. Tyler Thornburg was the last Wisconsin pitcher to pull off the same feat, on May 29, 2011, against Kane County. Cha Seung Baek was the last Wisconsin pitcher to threw a nine-inning complete-game shutout in the postseason, on Sept. 8, 2000, against Beloit.


Despite his stellar performance, Pierce insisted he didn’t have his best stuff. He wasn’t overpowering, striking out just three, but he pounded the strike zone and walked only two. Of his 104 pitches, 64 were for strikes.


“It was a battle,” said Pierce, with shaving cream still in his hair after getting a celebratory shaving-cream pie in the face from teammates in the clubhouse. “I really didn’t have anything going. I couldn’t get my curve or change-up to work. Honestly, it was just fastballs the whole game.”


With family and friends from Fond du Lac watching his first professional shutout and playoff start, Pierce seemed to grow stronger by the inning. He was especially effective in a 1-2-3 ninth, fanning leadoff hitter Sam Roberts with a 94 mph fastball for the first out.


“The ninth was probably my best inning,” said Pierce. “This game was awesome. Some people talk about the playoffs being pressure, but baseball is about opportunity. I just wanted to keep the season going and show some people in the organization that I can take the ball in a big game.”


Wisconsin collected seven hits and did all of its damage in the first two innings. The Rattlers jumped on Burlington early with a three-run first highlighted by an RBI double by Cameron Garfield and run-scoring singles by Nick Ramirez and Yadiel Rivera.


“In a playoff game, it’s about who gets the momentum first and then trying to carry it through the game,” said Garfield. “We got some big knocks that first inning and just got the train rolling. With Pierce out there throwing every pitch for strikes, that really helped the team.


“We came into this game almost like it wasn’t a playoff game because everyone was loose. We had really high energy in the clubhouse.”


Wisconsin backed Pierce with some exceptional defense. The Rattlers played error-free baseball and made several impressive plays in the field.


Outfielders Ben McMahan and Max Walla had fine running catches in the first inning, while third baseman Brandon Macias made a diving stop of a ground ball to retire a hitter on a force out at second to end the fourth.


“Our defense was spectacular,” said Pierce. “They always tell you to throw strikes and let your defense take care of you, and they made a lot of plays.”


Pierce got into the defensive act in the top of the sixth, spearing a hard grounder right back at him off the bat of Sam Roberts and turning it into a 1-6-3 double play.


You will find both a photo gallery and video interview with Chad Pierce at the link kicking off this post.

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Amber Kuehn, Helena Independent Record


The Helena Brewers weren’t ready to bid goodbye to the 2012 season.


They went down fighting, just as they did so often this summer, but fell 14-10 in extra innings to the Great Falls Voyagers. It was a wild season finale that lasted 3 hours and 53 minutes, and a fitting ending to a tough-luck season. The Brewers finished the year 24-52, their worst record since returning to Helena in 2003.


Helena took a 10-8 lead into the ninth inning, but Great Falls tied it on a wild pitch in the ninth. The Voyagers then plated four runs in the 10th, to head into the postseason with a win.


Great Falls, the first-half champions in the Pioneer League North, heads to Missoula to take on the Osprey in a playoff series, a rematch of last year’s North Division championship. Missoula clinched the second-half division title with back-to-back wins over Billings, including an 8-5 victory Thursday in a win-or-go-home game for the two squads.


At Kindrick Legion Field, there were bright spots for the home team — like Elliot Glynn’s 3-for-4 performance. Glynn, a reliever on the Brewers’ pitching staff, was pressed into duty in left field due to a shortage of healthy position players. He finished with three singles and an RBI, one of five Brewers with multi-hit games. The team’s MVP of the season, Adam Giacalone, finished the season with two hits and four RBIs in the final game.


Great Falls started the game with an offensive outburst, scoring five runs and chasing Brewers starter Tyler Wagner in the first inning to put Helena in an early hole. But Helena bounced back with five runs of its own, beginning with a Michael Turay solo shot and five straight hits after that. Joe Andrade tied the game with an RBI single, and the game had seen a combined 15 runs on 16 hits before it was more than two innings old.


The Brewers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Andrade singled up the middle to plate the go-ahead run for Helena, and Glynn — who also played outfield once last season in the Arizona League — followed with his first professional RBI to make it a 10-8 advantage. What started as a shootout then turned into a pitchers’ duel, however, as neither team would score the next four innings.


But the Voyagers roughed up Mike Francisco, who relieved Connor Whalen to start the ninth. Whalen, whose family was in attendance after missing their flight out of Helena, had just worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.


Tyler Williams led off the ninth with a double, then the Voyagers loaded the bags with two outs. Adam Heisler came home on a slider in the dirt to tie the game, and the Brewers couldn’t get anything going in the ninth, forcing extras.


Patrick Palmeiro’s RBI single on a hanging slider from Francisco proved the winning hit for Great Falls, and the Voyagers tacked on three more insurance runs with a two-run single on Michael Johnson’s first hit of the game and an RBI from Zachary Voight.


Helena had two men on in the home half of the inning, but Alfredo Rodriguez grounded into a double play and Giacalone grounded out to short to end the comeback threat and the season.


The Brewers were the comeback kids of the Pioneer League, leading the league with three ninth-inning come-from-behind wins. But a rally was not in the stars on the final evening of the season, as what was left of the 1,036 fans left Kindrick Legion disappointed at about 11 p.m.


The Voyagers were the Brewers’ nemesis all season long, as Helena went just 2-14 against the Electric City squad.


The best-of-three North Division championship begins tonight in Missoula.

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At Kindrick Legion Field, there were bright spots for the home team — like Elliot Glynn’s 3-for-4 performance. Glynn, a reliever on the Brewers’ pitching staff, was pressed into duty in left field due to a shortage of healthy position players. He finished with three singles and an RBI, one of five Brewers with multi-hit games.




Let's see, longer-term injuries were to Tyrone Taylor, Michael Reed, Yonki Hernandez, Andres Martinez, and more recently Ruben Ozuna.


That Kevin Berard mid-season release will remain a mystery....

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Helena Site:


The season finale at Kindrick Legion Field was a wild one that included a combined 24 runs, 35 hits, six errors and 14 walks. When the final out was recorded the Great Falls Voyagers stood victorious by the score of 14-10.


Every single hitter in the Brewers lineup recorded multi-hit games, but it was the fill-in, Elliot Glynn, that led the charge recording three hits on the evening. Glynn, who had exclusively been a pitcher this season as a Brewer, was forced to play left field due to an injury to Ruben Ozuna.


Glynn wasn't without left field experience. In 2008 and 2009, he played the position for the University of Connecticut Huskies. During that time, he was a .308 hitter playing in over 70 games. This season for the Brewers, Glynn finishes as a .600 hitter in one game, going 3-for-5 with an RBI.


First baseman Adam Giacalone went 2-for-6 on the evening raising his batting average to .317. By reaching base, Giacalone tied the league's season long on base streak at 35, which was set by Ogden's Jeremy Rathjen. Giacalone finished the season with 17 doubles and 32 RBI.


One Brewer of note that didn't appear in the boxscore on Thursday night, was second baseman Chris McFarland. McFarland, who entered the evening tied for first in the Pioneer League with 72 games played, was given a well deserved night off in the final game of the season. Thanks to a late double in his prior game, McFarland finished the season with a .301 batting average.


The Brewers finished the season 24-52 and 11-27 in the second half. First half champion Great Falls, who scuffled to a 16-22 record in the half, will head straight to Missoula for game one of a three game series to determine who will face the Southern Division representative for the 2012 Pioneer League title.

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Great Falls (White Sox) 14 Helena 10


Box Score


This was just a crazy game. 18 runs in the 1st 4 innings. Zero the next 4. Then 2 GF's runs n the 9th to tie it and 4 more in the 10th to pull ahead and win it.


Tyler Wagner's last couple of starts did not go well. He could not get out of the 1st on Thursday. In fact, the only Brewers pitcher with any kind of success, if you don't count Elliot Glynn's 3 hits, was staff rock Connor Whalen.


At the plate, everyone had at least 1 hit. Adam Giacalone's on-base streak is nice to see. Even in July, when he hit .387, Giacalone's slugging percentage was under .500. Only 3 of Helena's 16 H were better than singles. Michael Turay hit a bomb.


Game Log


And so went the 2012 summer ball L.R.'s for me. I really, really had tremendous fun. Thank you MH for basically letting me "plug and play". And thanks to all the contributors and reporters for filling up approx. 150 threads with wonderful information. The quality of coverage here is 2nd to none, trust me, I checked. Kudos all!

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I never look forward to the final game, but this Helena season was absolutely brutal. 24 and 52, the record speaks for itself.

I don't blame the players, who for the most part played as well as they could.


There needs to be a serious evaluation of what is going on in the front office/organization. This was as bad as anything from the Bando era.

- the past 2 years drafts have been poor. Helena clearly had the least talent of all the Pioneer league teams. It is not like this was a very young team stocked with prospects either. Time will tell, but I would be surprised to see even a couple postion players make AA.

- a thin roster didn't help. This resultled in guys playing 70+ games, going weeks without a day off, a pitcher in the outfield and a catcher manning 3B, and a severely depleted bullpen. As players moved up, were injured or released the effort to backfill the roster was slow or nonexistent. Certainly there were non drafted or independent league guys worth taking a look at. Is this a money issue? I hope not.

- player development at the DSL and in Maryvale. How much training and coaching is going on there? With the exception of Mondesi (who has natural talent) and Hernandez the Helena outfield was embarrassingly bad, far below the Pioneer league norm. Very very raw players who were learning on the job in Helena, should have been receiving daily instruction, drilling and coaching at a different level.


Bright spots? Chris McFarland! Head and shoulders above the rest of the team, as good a talent as any prospect in the Pioneer league.

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