FORT WAYNE, Ind. (TinCaps) – After a sluggish start, the TinCaps roared back on a sunny Tuesday night, scoring the game’s final four runs to secure a 4-3, series-opening victory at Parkview Field.
After a scoreless first three innings, the Captains (34-23) opened the scoring in the fourth when Will Benson slammed a two-run double off the top of the right-field wall, scoring Tyler Freeman and Ruben Cardenas. It was Benson’s 11th double of the season – the Atlanta native entered the night leading the Midwest League with 16 home runs on the season.
Lake County tacked on another run in the top of the sixth when Tyler Freeman singled leading off the inning, stole second and scored on a Benson single. Benson now has 48 RBIs this season – tops in the Midwest League.
Fort Wayne (27-29) crept closer with a two-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. First, Aldemar Burgos drew a four-pitch walk, and Justin Lopez followed it with a booming double that one-hopped the right-center field wall and scored Burgos. Lopez promptly came home to score when Blake Hunt lined an opposite-field triple down the right-field line that rolled all the way into the corner. Hunt has base hits in six of his last seven games, batting .440 (11-for-25) during that time with four doubles and a triple.
Both starting pitchers ended up turning in quality starts, as Gabe Mosser allowed three runs in 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts while Luis Oviedo went 6.0 innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Mosser, the right-hander from Pennsylvania, has combined to fan 22 batters in his last three starts (18.1 total innings).
The TinCaps surged in front with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. First, Jawuan Harris was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, moving to second on a groundout and scoring when Burgos lined a single into left-field. Then, a Justin Lopez walk and a Hunt single loaded the bases, and Agustin Ruiz brought home Burgos with a sacrifice fly deep down the left field line. Ruiz, the 19-year-old, leads Fort Wayne with 29 RBIs this season.
Austin Smith came on and shut the door in the ninth, earning his second save of the season with a 1-2-3 frame with back-to-back strikeouts to end the ballgame. The former second-round pick now has tossed scoreless outings in each of his last four appearances, allowing just two hits in 8.0 innings with 11 strikeouts.
Wednesday, June 5 vs. Lake County (7:05 p.m.)
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