May 14, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Wisconsin defeated the Beloit Snappers 3-0. Nick Bucci, Del Howell, and Andre Lamontagne combined to strike out 11 in the five-hit shutout. D’Vontrey Richardson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to pace the 10-hit attack for the Wisconsin offense.

BUCCI SHOWS HIS QUALITY: Bucci, the starter for the Timber Rattlers in last night’s game, pitched six shutout innings, allowed three hits, and struck out seven. Last night was the longest outing by a Timber Rattlers starting pitcher this season. It was also the first quality start (6IP with three or fewer earned runs allowed) by a Timber Rattler in 2010. At one point in the game, Bucci retired 12 straight Beloit hitters.

MORE THAN ENOUGH: Wisconsin scored two times in the third inning. Richardson’s RBI double off Miguel Munoz drove Michael Marseco in from first base. Scooter Gennett followed with an RBI single.

ADDING ON WITH TWO OUTS: Richardson and Gennett hat back-to-back singles with two outs in the fifth inning. Khris Davis singled to knock in Richardson for a 3-0 lead.

GETTING THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES: Bucci loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the first inning, but got out of the frame with a grounder to first base. In the sixth inning, the Snappers had runners at second and third with no outs. Bucci went strikeout, popout, strikeout to keep the Snappers off the scoreboard.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Snappers had a runner at second with one out in both innings that Howell pitched, but he worked out of both jams. Lamontagne converted his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

TOP OF THE ORDER: Richardson, Gennett, and Davis – the top three hitters in the Wisconsin lineup last night – went 7-for-12. Gennett bumped his average to .348 and is tied for third in the league batting race. Davis is at .330 and is tenth in the Midwest League in hitting. Richardson scored two runs and has 20 on the season. That ties him with Davis for second on the team behind Gennett, who has scored 24.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Beloit Snappers at the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. They are 19-14 on the season. They trail first place Quad Cities by a 1.5 games. They are tied for the first half Western Division Wild Card with Cedar Rapids and Peoria. In their most recent series, the Snappers split two games of a series at home to Kane County. Wednesday’s game was rained out and will be played at a doubleheader later this half. Beloit is 5-5 in their last ten games.

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers are 2-5 against the Snappers this season. Wisconsin lost the only two games played at Time Warner Cable Field in the first meeting between the teams on April 23 and 24. The game on April 25 was rained out and is the reason for the doubleheader that is scheduled for Friday night. The Rattlers went 1-3 in a four game series at Pohlman Field from April 30-May 3.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .257 as a team. They have scored 159 runs (4.8/game) and hit 16 home runs. The Snappers are hitting .239 as a team. They have scored 134 runs (4.1/game) and hit 18 home runs. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.89 while allowing a total of 178 runs (5.4/game) this season. Beloit pitchers have a team ERA of 3.29 while allowing 125 runs (3.8/game). The Rattlers defense has committed 56 errors. The Bandits defense has committed 35 errors. Wisconsin is 7-11 in home games this season. Beloit is 9-6 on the road this season.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER (GAME ONE): RHP Brad Stillings, who is out of Kent State, was the seventh round pick of the Twins in the 2009 draft. He was 6-4 with a 7.52 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched for the Golden Flashes. Stillings also threw a no-hitter for Kent State against the University of Toledo on April 10, 2009. Stillings started his pro career with the Elizabethton Twins after the draft and went 0-1 with a 4.19 ERA in ten games (six starts). He was promoted to the Snappers and appeared in seven games as a reliever without a record and a 5.73ERA. In his start prior to today, Stillings allowed a run on seven hits over six innings against Burlington at Pohlman Field and picked up the win. Stillings, a college teammate of Rattlers reliever Jon Pokorny, has faced the Rattlers twice. He made a relief appearance against Wisconsin on September 6, 2009 and allowed an unearned run on three hits with a strikeout in two innings. Stillings was the starting pitcher on May 3 of this season against the Rattlers. He allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Stillings was not involved in the decision in either game versus Wisconsin.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER (GAME TWO): RHP BJ Hermsen was the sixth round pick of the Twins in the 2008 draft out of Manchester (IA) High School. He made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Twins in 2009 and went 6-2 with a 1.35 ERA in 10 games – all starts – with four walks and 42 strikeouts in 53-1/3 innings pitched. Hermsen, who joined the Snappers earlier this week from Minnesota’s extended spring training, is making his Midwest League debut tonight. Game two will be his first ever appearance against an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Baseball America rates Hermsen as the #21 prospect in the Twins’ organization.

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