DAYTON, Ohio – The Midwest League Eastern Division broke a tie game in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Western Division 6-5 in the Midwest League All-Star game Tuesday at Fifth Third Field.
Four Fort Wayne players participated for the Eastern Division: starting pitcher Joe Ross, catcher Dane Phillips, first baseman Luis Tejada and closer Roman Madrid.
The four were among 17 pitchers and 18 position players selected to each team.
Ross was the first TinCap to enter the game, and he struggled through his second inning appearance.
Ross gave up the first hit of the game, a single to left by outfielder Adam Brett Walker, and the first run on a double from designated hitter Dan Vogelbach.
Ross gave up two earned runs and three hits in his inning of work.
Meanwhile, the West held the East hitless until the bottom of the fourth, when a single by second baseman Devon Travis gave his team its second baserunner of the night.
In the bottom of the fifth, he and the rest of the East struck harder.
A fielding error by second baseman Jorge Polanco gave the team a chance to break a 2-0 West advantage, and it did so.
Leonardo Reginatto singled to left to score one, and Travis – who batted .350 in the first half – gave the East the lead on a three-run triple. Travis, with a 2-for-2 day and three RBI, was the game MVP.
All four of the runs were unearned.
Phillips and Tejada substituted in during the top of the sixth.
Tejada struck out swinging in both his at-bats but turned a double play on a backhanded snag in the top of the seventh.
Phillips walked his first time at bat and later scored. He also had a putout in limited action and struck out.
Madrid was the last to take the field, and his outing was as messy as Ross'.
The closer, who gave up four earned runs throughout the first half, walked two batters with an error in between them to load the bases. Then, a single by Cedar Rapids shortstop Niko Goodrum scored two runs to turn a 5-2 lead into a one-run game.
The TinCaps go-to in late games was pulled for RJ Hively, who threw a wild pitch to tie the game.
All four of the East's earned runs were credited to TinCaps. But in the ninth, the East offense responded again.
Brandon Drury led off with a double, and Alex Glenn walked to put runners on first and second. Following a Phillips strikeout, Zach Vincej hit a fielder's choice to put men on first and third with two outs.
On a 3-2 count, Dalton Pompey singled up the middle to score the game-winning run for the East.
A crowd of 8,746 turned out, both in the stands and on the lawns, for the game at the 7,230-seat Fifth Third Field. It was the 49th anniversary of the MWL All-Star game.