by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent
The Beloit Snappers lost three out of four games to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee’s Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit this week. Due to a postponement on Wednesday, the last two games of the series were 7-inning contests played as a doubleheader on Thursday.
Second baseman Keston Hiura, the Brewers’ 1st-round pick this year, is a star attraction for the Timber Rattlers. He came into the series hitting .356 in 22 games and has been drawing rave reviews for his performance at the plate. Meanwhile, the Snappers continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Midwest League’s Western Division.
Game #1: Wisconsin 8 – Beloit 7
*Oakland’s 28th-round pick in 2016, second baseman Josh Vidales, hit his second home run as a Snapper, a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 1st inning to give Beloit an early lead.
*Center fielder Mike Martin, generally known as a speedy singles hitter, hit his first home run of the season along with a double. He had 3 hits in the game and scored 3 runs.
*With two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, the A’s 12th-round pick in 2016, right fielder Luke Persico, hit a 3-run double to right-center field to bring Beloit within one run of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, first baseman Kyle Nowlin could not come up with the clutch hit, grounding out to the shortstop to end the game.
Game #2: Wisconsin 10 – Beloit 0
*Not much went right for Beloit as the Snappers were shut out on 7 hits in this 10-0 loss.
*Catcher Jason Goldstein had 3 of the Snappers’ 7 hits in the game to raise his average on the season to .208.
*LHP Kyle Twomey made the start and, despite battling through some control issues in the 3rd inning, finished with a respectable line of 5 IP/3 H/4 R/1ER/3 BB/7 K.
*RHP Heath Bowers had one of his worst outings of the season, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits in 3 ⅔ innings of relief.
Game #3: Wisconsin 7 – Beloit 3 (7 innings)
*RHP Matt Milburn, known by many of his teammates as “Dad,” was knocked around by the Rattlers for 7 runs in 5 innings of work. Milburn was just one strike away from getting out of the 2nd inning unscathed, but instead gave up 3 runs on a bases-clearing double by Wisconsin left fielder Joantgel Segovia.
*2016’s 21st-round pick, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin, slugged a solo shot, his 11th home run of the season, to right-center field to put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning. And we’ll have an exclusive interview with Kyle Nowlin coming soon!
*Catcher Jason Goldstein hit his 3rd home run of the season, a 2-run shot, over the left-field fence in the bottom of the 7th inning for the Snappers.
Game #4: Beloit 3 – Wisconsin 1 (7 innings)
*RHP Xavier Altamirano made the start and threw 4 shutout innings, surrendering just 2 hits for the Snappers.
*Designated hitter Kyle Nowlin cracked an RBI double in the 4th inning to give the Snappers a 1-0 lead.
*RHP John Gorman was superb out of the bullpen once again. He stranded two inherited baserunners in the 6th inning and then pitched a perfect frame in the 7th to notch the five-out save. Four of the five outs he recorded were strikeouts.
*Beloit scored two runs to take the lead in the bottom of the 5th inning without recording a hit. A pair of walks followed by a wild pitch on a swinging strikeout that allowed left fielder Luke Persico to reach base and a throwing error led to the decisive runs for the Snappers.
*Infielder Eric Marinez is a switch hitter. But looking at his numbers hitting right-handed, one might start to wonder if maybe he should consider hitting left-handed on full-time basis. In 87 at-bats as a right-handed hitter, Marinez has put up a rather paltry slash line of .195/.286/.218. But hitting left-handed, Marinez has compiled a solid .311/.370/.413 slash line in 283 at-bats.
*Despite putting together a rather underwhelming 3-5 record on the 8-game home stand, the Snappers currently sit just a half-game behind the Peoria Chiefs in the race for a Western Division playoff spot.
A’s Prospect of the Series:
First Baseman Kyle Nowlin
(4 for 12 / Home Run / 3 Doubles / 3 Walks / 2 RBIs)
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