The Kernels (14-18) scored three times in the top of the second to take their first lead in the four game series. Matt Scioscia singled and went to second on a balk. He was still at second with two outs, but a double to right by Abel Baker got Scioscia to score the first run of the game. Wendell Soto made it a 3-0 lead with a two-run homer.
Wisconsin (20-12) got one run back in the bottom of the second. Yadiel Rivera doubled to start the inning and went to third on a single by Ben McMahan. Tyler Roberts grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that allowed Rivera to score.
The Rattlers went a more traditional route to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Chadwin Stang walked to start the frame. Then, Brandon Macias belted his second homer in as many days. The blast from Macias tied the game 3-3. But, the tie did not last long.
Scioscia led off the Kernels fourth inning with a line drive homer to left. Later in the inning, Soto struck again with an RBI single and the Kernels were up 5-3.
McMahan pulled the Rattlers to within a run in the bottom of the sixth. Greg Hopkins had doubled with one out. McMahan tripled to center with two outs to send Hopkins home and make the score 5-4.
Wisconsin received five innings of scoreless relief to keep the game close. Michael Strong, the 10th round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 draft, made his Midwest League debut in the fifth inning and worked three scoreless frames. Stephen Peterson took over for Strong in the eighth and put two more zeroes on the scoreboard.
The Rattlers offense had many chances in the final three innings to at least tie the game.
In the seventh, Carlos George singled and Stang beat out a bunt single. But, Macias was next and he popped a bunt up the third base line. Kaleb Cowart made a diving attempt and got the ball in his glove, but could not hang on for the out. George was out easily at third. Cedar Rapids brought left-hander Stephen Tromblee to face lefty Max Walla with runners at first and second and one out. As Tromblee and Walla faced each other, Stang broke for third on an attempted steal. But, Kernels catcher Abel Baker's throw to third beat Stang for the second out. Tromblee struck out Walla for the final out.
In the eighth, Jason Rogers doubled to left against Ty Kelley. Greg Hopkins beat out a bunt single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Rivera was asked to bunt Hopkins into scoring position and he did. But, Kelley got out of the inning with back to back strikeouts of McMahan and Roberts.
Stang started a Rattlers rally in the bottom of the ninth. He drew a walk with one out. Macias followed with a single to left that put the tying run at third and the winning run at first with one out. Kelley escaped by striking out Walla and getting Rogers to ground out to third.
Wisconsin stranded nine runners in the game, including five in the last three innings.
Wendell Soto (2nd, 1 on in 3rd inning off Kevin Shackelford, 2 outs)
Matt Scioscia (1st, 0 on in 4th inning off Kevin Shackelford, 0 out)
Brandon Macias (2nd, 1 on in 3rd inning off Eswarlin Jimenez, 0 outs)
WP: Eswarlin Jimenez (1-2)
LP: Kevin Shackelford (1-2)
SAVE: Ty Kelley (4)