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TinCaps sweep Bowling Green, moves on to MWL semis

For one of the few times since early June, the TinCaps did almost everything right in consecutive games.

And for Fort Wayne, there was no better time to do it.

The TinCaps beat Bowling Green 9-5 to sweep a best-of-three playoff series against the Hot Rods and move on to the Midwest League semifinals. Fort Wayne will play South Bend after taking down the Midwest League Eastern Division's overall leader Thursday.

The Silver Hawks, per MWL playoff procedures, can choose whether they want the first game played in South Bend or the last two.

Fort Wayne starter Zach Eflin, the MWL leader in ERA among starters, put on another strong performance in front of a playoff crowd of 4,377. The 19-year-old went six innings and gave up five hits, two earned runs and one walk while striking out five batters.

Bowling Green starter Reinaldo Lopez lasted half that long and gave up twice as much.

Lopez went three innings for the Hot Rods and surrendered seven hits, four earned runs and struck out two batters. His reliever, Andrew Hanse, also shrunk in the must-win game for Bowling Green.

Hanse gave up five hits and five runs, although just two were earned. He fell victim to a four-run fifth inning that featured a two-run home run from catcher Rodney Daal.

Daal's ninth home run of the season put the TinCaps up 9-1 with four innings left.

But Bowling Green battled back.

The Hot Rods got two runs off Eflin in the top of the sixth and another off reliever Bryan Rodriguez, who went just 2/3 of an inning and gave up a hit and two walks while letting one run score.

Chris Nunn came on to replace Rodriguez and ended the bases-loaded jam with a groundout to shortstop Tyler Stubblefield.

Nunn gave up a run in the top of the eighth, but while the Fort Wayne pen struggled, it did enough to close out the series. Trevor Gott retired the side in the ninth for the TinCaps.

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