FORT WAYNE, Ind. (TinCaps) – The TinCaps walked off winners on Thursday night, as Tucupita Marcano smacked a game-winning single in the ninth inning to clinch a 3-2 win over the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne swept the four-game series, its second four-game home series sweep this season.
Stellar defense helped the TinCaps (21-23) wiggle out of a jam in the second inning. South Bend (24-21) threatened to score off of Joey Cantillo in the top of the frame when Tyler Durna walked and Eric Gonzalez reached on an error with one out. Rafael Narea came to the plate and smacked a deep drive to right-center field that seemed destined for extra bases, but Jawuan Harris raced to his left and made an outstanding diving catch to rob Narea of a sure RBI. Tyler Durna advanced to third on the flyout, and with DJ Artis at the plate and Gonzalez at first, Durna tried to steal home on an attempted pickoff throw to first. Lee Solomon came up firing to the plate and Blake Hunt slapped the tag down in time, erasing the Cubs threat to score.
The TinCaps nearly opened the scoring in the third inning. Solomon walked and Luis Almanzar singled to lead off the third, each advancing to third on a Harris sacrifice bunt. Yet, a groundout and a popout left Solomon and Almanzar on the base paths.
South Bend broke the scoreless seal with a run in the top of the fourth. Andy Weber singled and Jonathan Sierra doubled to start the frame, putting two runners in scoring position with nobody out. After a strikeout, Durna brought home Weber with an RBI groundout to second base.
Fort Wayne knotted the game back up with a bang in the fifth, as Blake Hunt launched a 411-foot home run to center field leading off the inning. It was the third home run of the season for the California native (his second dinger at Parkview Field) and his first big fly since April 24 (18-game span).
Both starters ended up hurling one-run outings. Cantillo went five innings for the TinCaps, allowing the lone run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. In his last four starts, Cantillo has allowed just two runs in 21.1 innings with 25 strikeouts and five walks.
Faustino Carrera pitched well in his own right for the Cubs, going six innings and allowing three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. The left-hander from Mexico showed an ability to dance out of danger, stranding two TinCaps on the bases in the third and the sixth.
The ‘Caps nearly took the lead in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out via walks to Hunt, Solomon, and Harris. Yet, the home team couldn’t push across a run, as Xavier Edwards grounded into a fielder’s choice that forced out Hunt at home and Marcano followed with a pop-out to leave the bases loaded.
South Bend briefly took the lead back in the eighth via a Cole Roederer solo home run on the first pitch of the inning. It was the 19-year-old’s second home run of the season and his first hit of the series.
Fort Wayne tied the game right back up in the bottom half of the eighth. Dwanya Williams-Sutton singled with one out, and then came home when Agustin Ruiz grounded a double down the first-base line and into the right field corner. It was Ruiz’s first hit of the series, snapping an 0-14 stretch at the plate in the process.
The ‘Caps completed the comeback with a run to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Almanzar reached via an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Edwards, Marcano sent the crowd of 5,677 home happy, grounding a single into right field that scored the game-winning run. It was the second walk-off win for Fort Wayne at Parkview Field this season.
Friday, May 23 vs. Great Lakes (7:05 p.m.)
- TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Sam Keating
- Loons Probable Starter: RHP Andre Jackson
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