ABOUT LAST NIGHT: South Bend beat the Timber Rattlers 8-5. Collin Cowgill drove in three runs and Josh Collmenter picked up his tenth win of the season to lead the Hawks to the victory.
ROUGH RETURN: Juan Ramirez made the start for the Timber Rattlers last night. It was his first appearance since July 2 and he was scheduled to pitch just one inning. He lasted 2/3 of a frame and took the loss. Ramirez gave up two runs on two hits, a walk, and two hit batsmen. Ramirez was tagged with the loss.
HOW’D THEY DO THAT? The Hawks scored their two runs without a hit. Ramirez walked Chance Wheeless with the bases loaded to force in a run. Jimmy Principe got hit with a Ramirez pitch with the bases loaded later in the inning to force in the second run.
COMEBACK ATTEMPT: The Rattlers trailed 3-0 after the Hawks scored an unearned run off Keith Renaud in the top of the second inning. They got to within 3-2. Joe Dunigan stole third and scored on a throwing error in the second. Denny Almonte’s infield single drove Edilio Colina home from third in the third.
BATS AND LEGS: Dunigan leads the Rattlers in home runs with eight. He is second on the team in stolen bases with 17.
BUT: The Silver Hawks scored three times on one swing of the bat in the top of the fourth inning to pad their lead. There were runners on first and second when Cowgill lined a single to center. Maximo Mendez missed the ball and by the time he retrieved it, both runners had scored and Cowgill was headed for home.
THE COWGILL: The 5th round pick of Arizona smacked a two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning to give the Silver Hawks an 8-2 lead.
TEN CLUB: Collmenter allowed two runs (one earned) over seven innings on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts to become the second member of the 10-win club in the Midwest League this season. Alfredo Figaro of West Michigan leads the MWL in wins with 11.
LATE IN THE EVENING: The Rattlers scored three times in the bottom of the ninth. Joe White singled in a run and Colina doubled in a pair. That double brought the tying run to the plate for Wisconsin. But, Billy Spottiswood completed his two innings of work by getting the final out
HIGHWAY 101: Mendez struck out twice in last night’s game. He has struck out 101 times and leads the Rattlers in that category.
IN PLAY: Mendez is hitting .243 (65-for-268) in 72 games this season. But, his Balls in Play average – his average when he does not strikeout – is .389 (65-for-167).
HERE’S A STREAK: Rattler reliever Ryan Moorer pitched three scoreless frames last night. He has run his scoreless streak to 6-2/3 innings.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The South Bend Silver Hawks are Midwest League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They finished the first half with a record of 33-36 and missed the playoffs in the Eastern Division. The Silver Hawks are currently 16-11 and hold the top playoff spot in the East by 1-1/2 games over the Dayton Dragons. South Bend has a record of 25-21 on the road this season.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .238 as a team and have scored 338 runs (3.7/game). Wisconsin has hit 34 home runs this season. The Timber Rattler pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.91. South Bend is hitting .249 as a team and has scored 424 runs (4.4/game). The Hawks have hit 47 home runs this season. The South Bend pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.71.
2008 SEASON SERIES: South Bend leads the season series 4-1. The Silver Hawks swept a three game series at Coveleski Regional Stadium April 21-23. South Bend won game one 5-4; game two 8-4; and game three 10-2.
SOUTH BEND STARTING PITCHER: LH Tom Layne was the 26th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2007 draft out of Mount Olive College. Pitched for Missoula, Arizona’s Pioneer League affiliate, in 2007 and went 4-8 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 games – all starts. Layne has made 26 appearances this season for the Silver Hawks and tonight is his fifth start. In his last appearance before tonight, Layne pitched four innings of relief against the Kane County Cougars and allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts on July 12. In his last start prior to this evening, Layne beat Fort Wayne on July 7. He pitched five shutout innings and allowed four hits with a walk and two strikeouts against the Wizards. Tonight is Layne’s first appearance against the Rattlers and against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.