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Link Report for Sun. 9/9 - All the details as the Rattlers advance to the League Championship Series

Mass Haas

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Sunday's Daily Menu:


Time listed is Central


Wisconsin: RHP Mark Williams at home vs. Clinton (Mariners), 6:50 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime; second game of the second round best-of-three, game three at home Monday night if necessary


Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM




Follow the action as it happens with box score / game log links:






Check the Rattler Radio blog for the media notes just prior to gametime

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Final: Clinton 2, Wisconsin 4


Wisconsin moves on to the Midwest League Championship Series

Rattlers beat Clinton 4-2 for sweep in Western Division Finals

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers


GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Clinton LumberKings 4-2 on Sunday night to sweep the Midwest League Western Division Finals two games to none. Sunday's win at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium sent Wisconsin to the Midwest League Championship Series. Mark Williams tossed eight strong innings and the Rattlers offense did just enough to move the team to the Finals for the first time as an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.


Clinton scored two runs in the top of the first inning off Williams. Jamal Austin doubled to start the game. Dan Paolini bunted to move Austin to third, but got more than that. The throw to first was wild and Austin scored while Paolini wound up at second base. One out later, Ramon Morla doubled off the wall in center and Paolini scored for a 2-0 lead.


Nick Ramirez responded in the bottom of the first inning. Wisconsin had a runner at second with two outs when Ramirez blasted a long home run over the wall in center to tie the game. The round tripper was the second of the playoffs for Ramirez, who hit sixteen in the regular season.


Adrian Williams put the Rattlers in front in the bottom of the fourth. Cameron Garfield and Max Walla had consecutive singles with one out, but Garfield was still at second and Walla was still at first with two outs. Williams, the Rattlers second baseman, smacked the first pitch of his at bat through the middle to drive in Garfield to for a 3-2 lead.


Wisconsin added an insurance run in the seventh inning. Rafael Neda started the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second base by Adrian Williams. Brandon Macias followed with a single to right. Neda ran right through manager Matt Erickson's stop sign in the coaching box at third base and beat the throw to the plate for a 4-2 lead.


Mark Williams settled in after the first inning. He didn't allow another run in the game. Williams struck out five, allowed five hits, and did not walk a batter over his eight innings. In five games during the 2012 playoffs, Rattlers starting pitchers have allowed five earned runs in 38 innings pitched.


Santo Manzanillo took over for Williams in the top of the ninth and retired the LumberKings in order to close out the Western Division Finals.


Wisconsin is making their fourth trip to the Midwest League Championship Series. The Timber Rattlers have made it to the League Finals three other times since they came into existence in 1995. Wisconsin finished as the runner-up in 1996, 1999, and 2005.


The last time an Appleton team won the Midwest League pennant happened in 1984. The Appleton Foxes won the third of their three straight MWL titles that season.


Wisconsin is in the 2012 finals, but they do not know which Eastern Division team they will face. The Lake County Captains and the Fort Wayne Wizards will play Game Three of the best-of-three Eastern Finals on Monday night at Lake County's Classic Park. The winner of that game will be the opponent for the Rattlers in the Midwest League Finals.


Wisconsin's next game is Game One of the best-of-five Championship Series on Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Game time is 6:35pm. The Timber Rattlers will also host Game Two on Thursday afternoon at 12:05pm.


Tickets for Game One and Game Two will be on sale Monday morning at 9:00am. Fans may purchase tickets in person at the Timber Rattlers box office or by calling (800) WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152.




Nick Ramirez (2nd, 1 on in 1st inning off Seon-Gi Kim, 2 out)


WP: Mark Williams (1-0)

LP: Seon-Gi Kim (0-1)

SAVE: Santo Manzanillo (1)


TIME: 2:36

ATTN: 566


Wisconsin Box Score


Wisconsin Play By Play


Wisconsin Bottom of the 1st

Brandon Macias reaches on a fielding error by second baseman Dillon Hazlett.

Chadwin Stang out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher Seon Gi Kim to first baseman Ji-Man Choi. Brandon Macias to 2nd.

Ben McMahan called out on strikes.

Nick Ramirez homers (1) on a line drive to center field. Brandon Macias scores.

Yadiel Rivera grounds out, pitcher Seon Gi Kim to first baseman Ji-Man Choi.

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Rattler Radio Blog: Video Highlights include an extended look at the on-field post-game hugs - sweet!


The only bummer is that the Rattlers, should they go on to win the championship, will do so on the road. Wisconsin had a much better overall record than either of their possible series opponents, but the league rotates by division home field advantage, and the East has it in 2012.


The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers celebrate after the final out of the Western Division Finals. (Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)



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Williams, Rattlers reach championship

Brewers prospect gives up one earned run over eight innings

By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com


Mark Williams took the mound Sunday for Class A Wisconsin in what was going to be the first playoff start of his professional career. Since the pitching staff had allowed just one run in its last three games, the Timber Rattlers also had a chance to wrap up their best-of-3 Midwest League Western Division semifinals.


But the 23-year-old right-hander didn't think there was any pressure. Well, maybe a little.


"The only pressure I really felt was about following up [Chad Thompson, Chad Pierce and David Goforth]," Williams said. "I was thinking, 'Man, I've got to step it up.'"


He did just that.


Williams gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits in eight innings Sunday as Wisconsin defeated Clinton, 4-2, to advance to the Midwest League Championship Series for the first time since 2005 with a semifinal sweep.


"This is exciting for all of us," the Timber Rattlers hurler said. "Anybody who knows this team knows how much we've wanted to get to this point. There was a lot of jumping, hugs, handshakes after the game. It feels good, but we know tomorrow we have to focus on winning another series."


Although it had a happy ending, Williams' outing didn't have a stellar beginning.


In the first, he allowed a leadoff double to Jamal Austin, and on the very next pitch, Daniel Paolini laid down a bunt that catcher Rafael Neda mishandled, allowing Austin to score. Paolini crossed the plate on Ramon Moria's RBI double to give the LumberKings a 2-0 lead before the Timber Rattlers even had a chance to bat.


"I knew I was leaving a lot of fastballs up," Williams said. "Plus we had a couple of things that didn't really go our way. So I kind of sat there in the dugout, tried to collect myself and tried to kind of just relax. It was my first start in the postseason, so I wanted to just enjoy it. I walked up the tunnel after that, and things seemed to work out well."


The right-handed Brewers prospect faced the minimum 15 batters to take him to the seventh after the rough first frame.


Dillon Hazlett's fifth-inning single was the only misstep, but even that was erased by a double play by Patrick Brady. He also escaped lead-off singles in the seventh and eighth. The eight-inning outing, during which Williams tossed 105 pitches (71 for strikes), was his longest of the season, besting a pair of seven-inning starts in August.


Sunday provided the second time in 2012 that the Cincinnati native, who had only pitched in relief in Game 1 of the Midwest League first round, made headlines for a clutch performance. Combining with five innings from Thompson, he threw four frames of a no-hitter against the same Clinton team on May 4.


But to Williams, Sunday's win meant a little bit more.


"The no-hitter was a great accomplishment," he said. "Chad and I were actually talking about it the other day. But to pitch like this tonight, that means a lot. It holds a little more meaning for me because a win in the playoffs is something everyone can share. A no-hitter is a little bit more of a personal thing."


Just to get to the Midwest League playoffs has been a big achievement for the 23-year-old. He went undrafted out of Marietta (Ohio) College in 2011 and signed with the Brewers only after pitching for the Washington Wild Things in the independent Frontier League that same year. In his first full professional season, he was 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 27 appearances, 14 starts.


Now Williams and the rest of the Timber Rattlers will be fighting for the first Midwest League championship in franchise history since the Appleton Foxes captured the 1984 title. That's a fact not lost on the pitcher.


"It's been an awesome road to get here," he said. "I've been surrounded by some great pitching coaches, played with some great guys. It was heartbreaking not to get drafted, but the day I signed, I knew I was going to work hard every day.


"Right now, it's working. It's been a blast. But whether it's a hard road, easy road, whether I go up or down, I know I'll continue to enjoy the whole thing."


Nick Ramirez homered, doubled and drove in two runs to power the Wisconsin offense.

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Timber Rattlers advance to Midwest League finals

by Tim Froberg, Post-Crescent staff writer


GRAND CHUTE — The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ pitching staff has undergone an unexpected but welcome transformation in the postseason.


It has gone from solid to sensational.


The Rattlers received yet another superb performance from their revitalized mound staff Sunday night to win the Midwest League’s Western Division finals with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Clinton LumberKings.


The Rattlers advance to the Midwest League finals for the fourth time in franchise history. Wisconsin will host the first two games Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium against the Lake County-Fort Wayne winner. That series is tied at 1-1.


Wednesday’s home opener is set for a 6:35 p.m. start, while Game 2 on Thursday will be at 12:05 p.m.


“This feels amazing,” said Wisconsin pitcher Mark Williams. “With guys moving up and down all year, it’s hard to put a season like this together. We struggled a bit during the second half, but we put it together at the right time. My old college coach used to tell us that it’s not how you start, but how you finish and it’s amazing the way this team came together at the end.”


Amazing might be the best word to describe Wisconsin’s pitching in the playoffs. The Rattlers have allowed just three runs and only two earned runs in their last four playoff games.


It was Williams’ turn to shine Sunday night. The right-hander from Division III Marietta College allowed just one earned run (two overall) on five hits in eight strong innings. Williams struck out five and didn’t walk a hitter.


In celebration, Williams was given a shaving-cream pie in the face following the game — just like fellow pitchers Chad Pierce and David Goforth in previous nights.


“I think it’s easier to go out when someone has been successful before you because you see what he’s being doing right,” said Williams. “I think good pitching is contagious. It kind of gets you in a groove because you don’t want to let those other guys down.”


Williams threw 105 pitches before reliever Santo Manzanillo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up a save.


“Everything was basically working for me,” said Williams. “It’s the best everything has worked all year. I was having mechanical problems early and getting the ball up, but (Rafael) Neda did a heck of a job working with me and I settled down and was able to pound the strike zone.


“That was the best my slider has worked all year, and my change-up and sinker were good.”


After spotting Clinton both of its runs in the first, the Rattlers quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first on a long two-run homer to dead center by cleanup hitter Nick Ramirez.


“He (Clinton starter Seon-Gi Kim) kind of pitched me different than I thought he would pitch me,” said Ramirez. “I missed two fastballs away and then he painted a fastball and I was just trying to hit something hard. It had enough back spin on it to get over.”


The Rattlers scored the go-ahead run in the fourth on an RBI single by Adrian Williams and added a final run in the seventh on Brandon Macias’ run-scoring single.


“Our pitching has just been unreal the last four games,” said Ramirez. “If we keep that going, we’re going to be in good shape in the finals.


“This has been a lot of fun. We’re a confident team that’s having a lot of fun.”


Mark Williams Video Interview at the lead link in this post.

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Matt Erickson is a major league manager someday methinks.......


I'd take him as the Brewers skipper in 2013 if it would improve the situation we are in currently.


Not related, it really stinks that they have a day game Thursday. Impossible for me to go, but I'll be there Wednesday night.

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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