Going into Thursday night’s season opener at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, I looked forward to watching three particular prospects I noted in my recent “Midwest League Players to Watch” series: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers SS Yadiel Rivera and Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Austin Wood and third baseman Kaleb Cowart. Two of the three didn’t disappoint.
Wood set the pace for the game with 10 strikeouts in five innings, and Cowart led the offense with a 4-for-5 performance that included a double, a triple and two RBI. The Kernels won the game 7-2.
Conversely, Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Matt Miller seemed rattled, especially whenever somebody reached base. He threw to first base a lot, yet the Kernels were able to steal three bases against him during his four innings of work. Miller struck out seven batters but gave up six hits, four earned runs and three walks.
Tonight I’ll be at Pohlman Field to watch the Beloit Snappers take on the Peoria Chiefs.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Timber Rattlers gave away retro-style bobbleheads decorated with caps and jerseys reflecting five different eras from the team’s history. Every fan in attendance received a bobblehead of one of the following designs: 1953 Appleton Papermakers, 1960 Fox Cities Foxes, 1983 Appleton Foxes, 1995 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and 2011 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. I hoped to get a Papermakers bobblehead, but was pleased nonetheless that my wife and I got the two Foxes bobbleheads. Here is a photo of them: