FORT WAYNE – The Tin Caps gave fans a third dose of heroics Wednesday by mounting another comeback and their third walk-off win at Parkview Field when they defeated Great Lakes 6-5.
The TinCaps surrendered a 3-0 lead in the seventh, but they bounced back in the eighth to tie the game at 5 and won it in the ninth on a ground ball from Alberth Martinez.
Right fielder Brian Adams was heading home on contact. The grounder went to the third baseman, and as he sprinted for the plate, Adams prepared for a collision.
The catcher stepped out of the way, and the ball popped out of his glove. It gave the TinCaps their 11th home win.
The infield’s in, I saw the ball hit, and I knew it was pretty close to the third baseman, so I thought it was going to be bang-bang, Adams said. It was huge to get the win.
TinCaps pitcher Joe Ross put together one of his best outings, through six innings.
The seventh went differently.
Ross went 6 1/3 innings and gave up two hits and no runs in the first six. In the last third, the 19-year-old gave up five runs and four of his six hits.
I was feeling good, he said. I was just kind of leaving balls up. It was just kind of a few mistakes there at the end that got me.
Those slip-ups put Fort Wayne in a 5-3 hole and in danger of losing its fourth straight game. The streak would have been the worst for the TinCaps this season.
But a triple from Luis Tejada with two outs in the eighth and a scoreless inning from Roman Madrid in the ninth gave the TinCaps a chance.
I went 0 for 3 before that, and to hit that triple in that situation and help my team like that, that’s great, Tejada said. The first pitch was a changeup. I just let the ball come to me and tried to go the other way. I put a good swing on it.
Madrid picked up his third win, and Fort Wayne won for fourth time in five games against the Loons.
Manager Jose Valentin’s team needed the win after getting swept for the first time this season.
The three losses at Peoria dropped the TinCaps to 6-10 in road games, but an 11-3 mark at Parkview Field has kept the TinCaps among the top three in the Midwest League. Fan support has helped, Valentin said. The TinCaps had their second sellout of the season Wednesday, with 7,434 fans.
For some reason, I don’t know why, we just change our approach at home plate, swinging at bad pitches, not getting good at-bats, giving too many at-bats away, Valentin said. It’s a game; it’s the same. It’s the same baseball. Hopefully everything changes on the road, but we continue to play well at home.