For much of Saturday’s TinCaps game at Parkview Field, the inning-by-inning score had the look of those early moments of a basketball game. The TinCaps went up 2-0, then it was 2-2, then 4-2 and 4-4 and 6-4.
It wasn’t until the eighth inning, though, when Lake County broke the trend with a four-run inning and added a single run in the ninth to claim a 9-6 victory over the TinCaps before 3,220 fans.
The loss ended a two-game home winning streak for Fort Wayne (5-4), while Lake County (2-6) buried a six-game losing string.
Coming into Saturday’s game with a team batting average of .196, which is third from the bottom in the Midwest League, Lake County raked four TinCaps pitchers for a season-high 14 hits – more than twice the six hits it had in the previous two games in Fort Wayne.
It was a slugfest, said TinCaps right fielder Brian Adams, whose two-run home run in the second inning spotted Fort Wayne the early 2-0 lead. It was back and forth all night. We threw some good pitches; they hit a couple well; we hit a couple well.
The TinCaps’ scoring pattern was similar early. Adams crushed his home run to left field that bounced against the newly constructed The Harrison building after Luis Tejada was hit with a pitch. Then two innings later, after Jeremy Baltz was grazed with a pitch, Gabriel Quintana’s home run to right center put the TinCaps ahead 4-2.
After the Captains came back to tie the game at 4, Fort Wayne took the lead again, 6-4, when Alberth Martinez tripled against the center field wall, scored on Corey Adamson’s single that swirled into the 23 mph gust, and Adamson ran in on Maxx Tissenbaum’s double to right.
After that, it was a game that belonged to the bullpens. Lake County’s held the TinCaps scoreless for the final four innings, and Fort Wayne’s gave up four runs and eight hits.
We battled. We battled, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. The bullpen just couldn’t hold the lead. We got the lead twice and we didn’t get the hold in there. Up by two in the eighth.
Reliever Leonel Campos, who had allowed four hits in five innings of work this season, began the eighth inning but didn’t end it.
He gave up a single, a triple, a walk and didn’t register an out when third baseman Quintana tried to throw out a Lake County runner scoring from third.
With two Captains runs in and two more runners hanging, Campos was pulled for Chris Nunn, who gave up a two-run double.
Still, the TinCaps tried to recover in the bottom of the ninth. Tejada led off with a double, Stephen Carmon dropped a two-out single to left and Adamson walked to load the bases for Tissenbaum, who bounced out.
It happens in baseball, Valentin said. We threatened in the ninth inning. We got bases loaded and the second hitter in the lineup (at bat). He’s been swinging the bat good. We keep putting pressure on with our offense. We didn’t back down.