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Link Report for Sun. 9/16 -- Timber Rattlers are 2012 Midwest League Champions!!

Mass Haas

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Sunday's Daily Menu:


Time listed is Central


Wisconsin: RHP Chad Thompson at Fort Wayne (Padres), 3:50 PM pre-game, 4:05 gametime; fourth game of the league championship best-of-five, Timber Rattlers lead, 2-1


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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1 strike away, come on boys!

Got him looking, and the Rattlers have won the Midwest League title!

"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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Midwest League Champions!


Final: Wisconsin 4, Fort Wayne 2


Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are Midwest League Champions

Wisconsin beats Fort Wayne 4-2 in Game Four

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers


FORT WAYNE, IN - Nick Ramirez had one hit on Sunday at Parkview Field. But, it was a hit that helped the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers claim their first Midwest League Championship. His 2-run double in the seventh inning snapped a 2-2 tie and propelled the Rattlers to a 4-2 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Game Four of the Midwest League Championship Series. Wisconsin won the series three games to one.


Wisconsin got out to a very fast start. Brandon Macias doubled on the first pitch of the game and Chadwin Stang sent Macias home with a single for a 1-0 lead two batters into the game.


Max Walla hit a solo home run with two outs in the second inning for a 2-0 lead.


Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Chad Thompson hit a spot of trouble in the third inning. A single and a walk with one out brought Yeison Asencio to the plate. The regular season batting champion blooped a double to right to score the first Fort Wayne run. A sacrifice fly by Travis Whitmore tied the game 2-2.


TinCaps starter James Needy settled in after the second inning and kept the Rattlers off the scoreboard. That included an jam in the sixth inning where the Rattlers had runners at second and third with no outs, but could not score.


The score changed in the seventh as the TinCaps went to the bullpen. Macias started the inning with a double off Luis De La Cruz. A sacrifice bunt and a walk put runners at the corners with one out. Fort Wayne went back to the bullpen to bring in lefty Brandon Alger to face the left-handed Ramirez.


Ramirez, who lead Wisconsin in homers and RBI during the regular season and the playoffs, fell behind Alger 0-2. The Rattlers first baseman fouled off one two-strike pitch. Then, Alger left one over the plate and cracked a double to the wall in right. Both Macias and McMahan scored on the play for a 4-2 lead. Ramirez drove in ten runs during the nine postseason games for the Timber Rattlers. That included four in the Championship Series.


Thompson, like Needy, settled in after his early troubles. He allowed just one base runner after the double by Asencio in the third.


Brent Suter, a 31st round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of Harvard in the 2012 draft, relieved Thompson to start the bottom of the seventh. The Rattlers left-hander started mowing down TinCaps and didn't stop until the championship was won.


Suter retired the side in order in the seventh and the eighth. He retired Asencio for the first out of the ninth on a grounder to short. Suter got Whitmore to swing and miss at strike three for the second out. The pennant-clinching out came as Suter caught Lee Orr looking at a 2-2 pitch for strike three.


The pennant is the first for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The last Midwest League Championship by an Appleton Professional Baseball team was won in 1984 by the Appleton Foxes. The Foxes joined the Midwest League in 1962 and won eight pennants (1964, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1982, 1983, & 1984). Now, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have a pennant of their own to fly over Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.




Max Walla (1st, 2nd inning off James Needy, 2 out)


WP: Chad Thompson (2-0)

LP: Luis De La Cruz (1-2)

SAVE: Brent Suter (1)


TIME: 2:34

ATTN: 2,390


Wisconsin Box Score


Nick Ramirez 2 RBI double in the 7th turned out to be the game winner. He finished the day 1-3 with a pair of walks. Brandon Macias went 2-5 out of the leadoff spot with two doubles. Macias scored two of the Rattlers 4 runs. Chadwin Stang was on base three times with a single, a double, and a walk. Max Walla came up big with a home run and a walk as well. As has been the case throughout the postseason, Wisconsin pitching came up huge once again. Chad Thompson started and pitched the first six innings. He gave up just two runs. Brent Suter pitched the final three innings to earn the save. He retired all nine batters he faced.


Wisconsin Play By Play


Wisconsin Top of the 1st

Brandon Macias doubles (1) on a line drive to center fielder Kyle Gaedele.

Chadwin Stang singles on a line drive to left fielder Jeremy Baltz. Brandon Macias scores. Chadwin Stang advances to 2nd, on a fielding error by left fielder Jeremy Baltz.

Ben McMahan walks.

Nick Ramirez strikes out swinging.

With Cameron Garfield batting, Chadwin Stang caught stealing 3rd base, catcher Austin Hedges to third baseman Duanel Jones, Ben McMahan to 2nd on the throw.

With Cameron Garfield batting, wild pitch by James Needy, Ben McMahan to 3rd.

Cameron Garfield grounds out, shortstop Jace Peterson to first baseman Lee Orr.


Wisconsin Top of the 2nd

Yadiel Rivera strikes out on a foul tip.

Rafael Neda flies out to right fielder Yeison Asencio.

Max Walla homers (1) on a fly ball to right field.

Adrian Williams pops out to second baseman Tyler Stubblefield.


Wisconsin Top of the 7th

Pitching Change: Luis De La Cruz replaces James Needy.

Brandon Macias doubles (2) on a fly ball to left fielder Jeremy Baltz.

Chadwin Stang out on a sacrifice bunt, third baseman Duanel Jones to first baseman Lee Orr. Brandon Macias to 3rd.

Ben McMahan walks.

Pitching Change: Brandon Alger replaces Luis De La Cruz.

Nick Ramirez doubles (1) on a fly ball to right fielder Yeison Asencio. Brandon Macias scores. Ben McMahan scores.

Pitching Change: Johnny Barbato replaces Brandon Alger.

Cameron Garfield called out on strikes.

Yadiel Rivera called out on strikes.

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Wisconsin wins Midwest League title

Ramirez delivers go-ahead hit as Rattlers win their first crown

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com



Nick Ramirez led Wisconsin with 70 RBIs and 16 homers. (Vincent Rinaldi/Rinaldi Photos)


When Lee Orr struck out to seal Class A Wisconsin's first Midwest League championship, Milwaukee prospect Nick Ramirez had only one thing on his mind: Don't get caught at the bottom of the dogpile.


Luckily for the first baseman, his teammates stayed on their feet, and he was able to celebrate standing up with high-fives, hugs and plenty of sparkling cider showers.


Ramirez broke a tie with a seventh-inning two-RBI double Sunday to help the Timber Rattlers beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 4-2, in Game 4 of the circuit's best-of-5 Championship Series.


"This is awesome, it's a great feeling," Ramirez said. "This is my first championship in pro baseball. This is one of the best feelings of my career. There's nothing higher than this at this level; this is the World Series for us.


"I tried to push [6-foot-5 pitcher] Brent Suter down, but he's a big guy. It wasn't going to happen. I was thinking to myself, 'Don't be at the bottom of the dogpile.'"


The victory gives the Timber Rattlers their first league championship in the 18-year history of the club. The last time the team won a championship -- in 1984 -- the team was a White Sox affiliate known as the Appleton Foxes.


Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson knows better than anyone the importance of the title to the organization and the town of Appleton, Wisc.


"I was born and raised in Appleton, and I'm a member of the community," said Erickson, who was selected in the seventh round of the 1997 Draft. "I played my West High School games at the old park, Goodland Field, and I watched the Appleton Foxes growing up.


"I played in the Midwest League in '98 with Kane County when I was a member of the Florida Marlins organization, and I watched the transition from the Foxes to the Timber Rattlers and all the excitement that brought to the valley."


Leadoff hitter Brandon Macias doubled to center field to start the game, and Chadwin Stang drove him in with a single to put the Timber Rattlers on the board.


Max Walla doubled the lead with a two-out homer to right field in the second, but an RBI double by Yeison Asencio and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Travis Whitmore tied the game in the third.


That was the way the game stayed until the seventh when 23-year-old Ramirez, selected by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, delivered the decisive blow.


With runners on the corners and one out, Ramirez ripped a two-RBI double to right field to give the Timber Rattlers the lead for good.


Ramirez, who led the team in homers (16), RBIs (70) and extra-base hits (44), knew he would get a chance to give his team another lead in the seventh.


"They brought in a lefty [brandon Alger] and I figured I would see a couple curveballs because there were guys at first and third and they wanted me to hit into a double play," said Ramirez, who drove in 10 runs during nine postseason games, including four in the Finals.


"He threw a first-pitch fastball, then a pretty good slider for a strike that I thought was a ball," Ramirez recalled.


"He threw a fastball that I fouled off, and since he changed my eye level, I thought he would probably come with something off-speed. He came with a curveball and I got enough of the barrel on it."


The runs made a winner of starter Chad Thompson (2-0), who allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three batters over six innings. Suter fanned three batters over three hitless innings of relief to seal the championship.


"It feels unbelievable. I'm so happy for the players who put in all the hard work and preparation to get this done," Erickson said. "I want them to know how appreciative I am of the hard work they put in. It's proof hard work can bring results.


"This is something that nobody can take away. It will stay with them their whole lives. I told them at no point in my career was I as close with my teammates than I was in my first full season of A-ball. Hopefully, they will have some good memories of the 2012 season."


Wisconsin booked its slot in the playoffs after winning the Western Division first-half title. The team went 44-25 over the first half, winning the division by 5 1/2 games over the Beloit Snappers.


It marked the fourth time the team won a division title. It won the now-defunct Central Division in 1996 and 1999 and claimed the Western Division in 2005.


The Timber Rattlers lost the first game of its opening-round against Burlington, 4-0, but won the next two games to get to the semifinals, where they swept Clinton.


Wisconsin and Fort Wayne split the first two games of the Championship Series, before the Timber Rattlers won Game 3 on Saturday, 10-8, and sealed the title at Parkview Field.


"No one gives up. We fought all throughout the year," Ramirez said. "There was no giving up. I'll remember the whole experience and the rush of being champions and celebrating on the field."

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Rattlers win Midwest League championship

Written by Post-Crescent staff


FORT WAYNE — A fantastic playoff run that included dominant pitching good defense and clutch hitting has resulted in a Midwest League Championship for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.


The Timber Rattlers defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-2 on Sunday to claim the title, the first for an Appleton professional baseball team in 28 years.


It’s the first pennant for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The Appleton Foxes won the 1984 title, the third of three consecutive championships (1982, 1983).


Appleton also won Midwest League titles in 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1978.


“Obviously, I”m very happy for our players,” Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson said. “They put in all the work and preparation over the course of a long season.


“And we’ve been very consistent. We won the Western Division in the first half of the season to earn a spot in the playoffs. Then we lost a number of people to promotions and other guys had to step into new roles. But we were able to hang on and play .500 baseball (in the second half) and got the best overall record in the Western Division.”


From there, Wisconsin’s pitching staff rose to another level in the playoffs and that was punctuated Sunday by starter Chad Thompson and reliever Brent Suter.


Thompson picked up the win with six strong innings and Suter got the save with three scoreless innings of relief. He struck out three and did not allow a hit or walk.


“Obviously our starting pitching was unbelievable through the playoff run,” Erickson said. “And we’ve done a nice job of taking care of the baseball and we’ve been preaching to the pitchers to pound the ball and get ahead in the strike zone and they executed.


“We didn’t swing the bats relatively great, but we had some timely hitting and it all worked out.”


An RBI single from Chadwin Stang put Wisconsin up 1-0 after Brandon Macias reached on a double on the first pitch of the game.


A solo home run from Max Walla gave the Timber Rattlers a 2-0 lead in the second inning.


Fort Wayne answered with an RBI double from Yeison Asencio and a RBI sac fly from Travis Whitmore tied the game in the third inning.


Macias doubled to start the seventh inning and a sac bunt and walk put runners on the corners with one out. That led to a two-run double for Nick Ramirez.


Ramirez had 10 RBI in nine postseason games for Wisconsin.


Suter entered in the seventh and retired the side in all three innings, with the final out a strikeout of Lee Orr.


“I remember early in the season at our preseason meeting, I talked about how we’re going to work and hopefully get better individually and as a ballclub,” Erickson said. “I said we’re going to spend a lot of tip together and we’re going to try and make this clubhouse enjoyable for everybody involved. I think of all the personalities we’ve had on this team and they jelled nicely and we definitely became more than the sum of the parts.


“It was really a fun ride and I am very happy for everybody that came through this year, which was a number of people.”


Wisconsin celebrates winning the Midwest League championship on Sunday at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Ind. / Cathie Rowand/Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette





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Rattler Radio Blog: Ten after 10 for September 17, 2012 – Midwest League Champions


I'm guessing Chris Mehring knows how much we appreciate all his efforts, truly amazing.


Let's say this same core group of Timber Rattlers moves on and wins a Florida State League championship in 2013. For fans, it'd be nice, but there would be about 1% of the media coverage that the young men saw this past year.


With the Post-Crescent, Sports 32, local bloggers with first-hand reports, fan reports, etc., these Rattlers truly experienced both a championship chase and a touch of what being in a media market is all about.


Thanks for blessing us with a great season, Rattlers, and thanks to all those who helped us learn about them.

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I was just thinking, does every player who contributed for the T-Rats get a ring or just the final roster that made the playoff run?

"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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Share on other sites

Yes, they get rings for every championship in baseball. Even fall league champs get rings (I worked for three Phx Desert Dogs teams that got rings...3 for 3 baby!). I assume all players that contributed get them, but that could be a lot in the minors...great question TheCrew07
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Timber Rattlers fans welcome home champs

Baseball team earned Midwest League crown

by Tim Froberg, Post-Crescent


GRAND CHUTE — As a slugging left-handed hitter with a home-run stroke and a promising future, Nick Ramirez might have taken his last look at Fox Cities Stadium Monday night.


Like the majority of the players on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ roster, Ramirez, 23, likely will be working in another city next summer.


But he will take with him unforgettable memories of the summer of 2012 in Grand Chute, where he became a champion for the first time in professional baseball.


“Winning a championship is probably the best feeling in baseball,” Ramirez said. “This is something that no one can take away from you. You’ve won a championship and you’ve won a ring. They’re not going anywhere. I’m always going to remember the whole entire season, and especially that last final out.”


Ramirez and the rest of the Rattlers returned home Monday afternoon after winning the Midwest League championship Sunday for the first time since the franchise became known as the the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 1995.


The club previously was known as the Appleton Foxes, and the Rattlers’ 2012 Midwest League title is the first since the Foxes won the MWL championship in 1984.


Although it was raining when the Rattlers’ team bus rolled into the Fox Cities Stadium parking lot, it didn’t do a thing to dampen spirits. Team mascot Fang and several fans who had spent summer nights watching the group of young prospects jell into a championship-caliber team were on hand to welcome back their team.


“This is something you can’t forget,” said third baseman Brandon Macias. “It’s going to be in your mind forever, especially the memory of everyone piling on top of one another after we won it.”


The Rattlers — the low Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers — posted the third-best regular-season record in the Midwest League (78-61). But the team caught fire in the postseason, winning seven of its nine playoff games.


“We just had a group that meshed,” Macias said. “Everyone got along and we developed some amazing friendships. Everyone just clicked and we definitely came together as a team.”


For manager Matt Erickson and starting pitcher Chad Pierce, the championship was extra special, considering their local roots.


Erickson grew up in Appleton and is a year-round resident.


“Going to games at old Goodland Field as a kid to watch the Foxes and just knowing the history here, yeah, this means an awful lot to me,” Erickson said. “I’m just so happy for the players. This team was definitely much more than a sum of its parts. They believed in the daily process and began playing for one another. We had a mix of a lot of different personalities in the clubhouse, but there was one common goal and they figured it out and went and got it.”


Pierce was raised 45 minutes from Fox Cities Stadium in Fond du Lac, and had family and friends on hand for most of his starts this season.


“As a kid, our Little League would come to games here every summer and I also went to a lot of games here with my parents,” Pierce said. “But when you’re a kid, you don’t really understand what’s going on out there. This was such a fantastic year and now we’re going into the record books. It was such a fun season. I don’t think I could put into words how much fun it was.”


The Rattlers returned home with the Midwest League championship trophy and the organization received congratulatory emails from some prominent Milwaukee Brewers officials, including team owner Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin, the Brewers’ vice president and general manager.


“Matt (Erickson) was reading us some of their emails about how proud they were and that winning matters at every level,” said Rattlers reliever Brent Suter. “It’s a mindset thing, which they try and instill, and this team really embodied that.”


The Rattlers won’t get much time to savor the victory. Erickson and some of the players will head to Arizona the next few days to participate in the Brewers’ fall instructional program and league.


Photo Gallery -- Midwest League Champion Timber Rattlers Return Home

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It's a second ring for some of the T-Rats guys. Helena Brewers won a Championship a couple years ago.


Actually, that was the Arizona (Maryvale) Brewers. Yadiel Rivera, Max Walla, Kevin Shackelford, and Tyler Roberts were on that roster.


Actually it was both the 2010 Helena Brewers and Arizona League Brewers...Maybe some of the guys will have 3 rings now.

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