Pair Of Former UWM Pitchers Win Title With Timber Rattlers
Sept. 17, 2012
MILWAUKEE - A pair of former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball players celebrated a championship on the field last night when the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers claimed the Midwest League crown with a 4-2 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Game Four of the MWL Championship Series.
"It was a great year," Pierce said. "Any time you win a championship it is great, but winning one in my first full season in pro ball is pretty special. This is what you play baseball for. You want to win the whole thing and we were fortunate that we did."
Pierce played a key role in helping the Timber Rattlers get to the championship series. Down, one game to zero in the first round of the playoffs and facing elimination, Pierce tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout to lead Wisconsin past the Burlington Bees 4-0. They would go on to also claim a victory in game three and take the series.
"I can't say enough about how great my teammates were this year and how the Timber Rattler organization treated us," Pierce said. "It's an exciting time and one that I will remember for my lifetime."
He made nine appearances for the Rattlers - including five starts - going 2-3 with 22 strikeouts in 30.2 innings of work en route to the championship.
"It was a great opportunity and experience to win a championship in my first year of pro ball," Semmelhack said. "Being able to win a championship with a team that represents Wisconsin makes it that much better. It's awesome when you win a title with a great group of guys - especially when it includes old teammates."
The team started quickly in the finale on Sunday, jumping out to a 1-0 lead after one and a 2-0 advantage after just two innings. However, after the TinCaps rallied to tie, a two-run double by Nick Ramirez in the seventh inning provided the difference in the 4-2 victory to take the series, three games to one.
Pierce finished the season with a 7-5 record and a 3.47 ERA. He struck out a team-high 115 batters in 124.2 innings on the mound, also recording a pair of saves.
Note: Photos courtesy of www.timberrattlers.com, @TimberRattlers on Twitter and Eric Semmelhack.