July 7, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers were shutout at Cedar Rapids 5-0. Stephen Locke pitched eight innings and scattered six hits for the win. The Kernels broke the scoreless tie with an unearned run in the bottom of the third, added a run in the fifth, and tacked on three in the eighth. Wisconsin loaded the bases in the top of the ninth against closer Johnny Hellweg, but could not score.

IT HASN’T HAPPENED OFTEN: Last night was only the fifth time the Rattlers have been shutout in 2010.

IT TURNED OUT TO BE ENOUGH: The Kernels got their first run of the game with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Jean Segura tripled with two outs and none on base. He scored on a passed ball.

CHANCE: The Rattlers had Erik Miller at third and one out in the top of the fifth inning. But, the Kernels brought the infield in and a grounder to second would wind up getting Miller out at home.

MY SACRIFICE: Michael Marseco dropped a sacrifice bunt in the top of the fifth inning to move Miller to second base. Marseco has 15 sacrifice bunts and leads the Midwest League in that category.

PICKOFF! Rattlers starting pitcher Kyle Heckathorn picked Segura off second base in the bottom of the fifth inning. That is only the second pickoff of the season for a Rattlers pitcher. Heckathorn allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits over five innings.

SCOOTER! Rattlers second baseman Scooter Gennett had a pair of hits last night to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Gennett is 21-56 (.375) during the streak that started with the first game of the second half. Thirteen of the 21 hits are for extra bases for Gennett (11 doubles, a triple, and a home run). His OBP/SLG/OPS line during this streak is: .397/.661/1.057. Gennett has also taken over the league lead in doubles with a total of 29. He has at least one double in seven straight games.

THE ROAD SO FAR: In the first six games of their current nine game road trip, the Rattlers are 1-5. Wisconsin was swept in three games at Burlington and dropped two of three at Cedar Rapids.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Beloit Snappers are the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. They finished the first half of the 2010 season with a record of 37-32. The wound up in fourth place 6.5 games behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels for the division championship and three games behind Quad Cities for the Wild Card. Beloit is 5-7 to start the second half of the season. In their most recent series, Beloit dropped the final two games of their three-game set at Kane County.

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers are 3-8 against Beloit this season. The Snappers took three out of four games from Wisconsin at Pohlman Field in a series from May 1-4. The Rattlers went 2-4 in six games at Time Warner Cable Field against the Snappers in the first half.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .249 as a team. They have scored 379 runs (4.7/game) and hit 44 home runs. The Snappers are hitting .245 as a team. They have scored 359 runs (4.4/game) and hit 42 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.46 while allowing a total of 404 runs (5.1/game) this season. Beloit pitchers have a team ERA of 3.95 while allowing a total of 364 runs (4.5/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 117 errors. The Snappers defense has committed 96 errors. Wisconsin is 14-25 in road games this season. Beloit is 22-19 at Pohlman Field in 2010.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s 2010 Prospect Handbook placed three members of the current Snappers roster on their list of Top 30 prospects in the Twins organization. Outfielder Aaron Hicks is ranked at #1. Pitchers BJ Hermsen (#21) and Ben Tootle (#28) are also on the list.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER: RHP Kane Holbrooks was selected by Minnesota in the 21st round of the 2009 draft out Texas State. Holbrooks was 10-1 in 16 games (15 starts) with a 3.26 ERA in his final season at Texas State. He was named to two All-American teams and was the Southland Conference Pitcher of the year in 2009. In his first pro season, Holbrooks was 2-2 in 17 games (one start) for the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League. Tonight is the first time he takes the hill as a starter for the Snappers. Holbrooks was a Midwest League All-Star for 2010 as the closer for Beloit and is 3-3 with a 1.47ERA and nine saves over 31 appearances this season. He has struck out 61 and walked 12 in 43 innings for the Snappers in 2010. Holbrooks, who retired both batters he faced in the All-Star Game in Fort Wayne, has made four appearances against Wisconsin this season. He has no record and two saves in three opportunities and has allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk over eight innings. The longest outing of the season for Holbrooks is three innings and he has done that twice this season, but the most recent was on May 8.

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