FORT WAYNE – Jake Bauers has supercharged the TinCaps’ offense since joining the team April 25.
Freed from extended spring training, Bauers is dominating at the plate as he tries to keep the TinCaps (12-16) close to .500.
Bauers had a homer, two singles, a walk and three RBI in Saturday’s 8-4 win over South Bend at Parkview Field. It was his third consecutive multihit game.
His past 19 at-bats have produced numbers reminiscent of prep ball, not the minor leagues. Bauers has 12 hits in those 19 at-bats. That’s a .632 average.
Bauers hit .571 as a senior at Marina High School in California and .462 as a junior.
It’s still tougher than high school, but I am seeing it well, staying back, trusting my hands and putting good swings on balls, said Bauers, who at 18 is the youngest player in the Midwest League. There is no telling why everything has clicked right away.
His personal confidence and all of those good things, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. It’s always nice to hit the ground running like he has.
South Bend (16-13) has retired Bauers once in eight tries in the three-game series, which concludes today.
Justin Livengood (1-1) returned to Fort Wayne to replace Pete Kelich, who was placed on the disabled list.
Livengood tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Adrian De Horta, who gave up a run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The TinCaps jumped on Aaron Blair (1-2) with three runs in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth.
Bauers had an RBI single in the second and sent a 2-0 pitch onto the concourse in right with a man on in the third.
I was looking middle-in, Bauers said. He put it right there. I did what I wanted to.
The TinCaps could say the same about their all-around performance, one Collins described as a good, solid team effort in his written postgame report.
One error late, which came from a pitcher (Nick Mutz), Collins said. We’ll just count that as half an error. The whole order contributed. Pitchers did a great job.
Catcher Adolfo Reina, in his first appearance for the TinCaps, had an RBI single, and shortstop Chase Jensen contributed a sacrifice fly in his second game.
A two-run double from Franmil Reyes made it 7-0 in the fourth. He scored on Dustin Peterson’s single.
The mesmerizing story was Bauers, a seventh-round choice in the 2013 amateur draft. Collins said the first baseman has a good personality and has fit in well in the clubhouse.
A lot of these guys I played with in minicamps and spring training, Bauers said. We’re all buddies. We’re all comfortable. I was playing every game in extended like any game and was fortunate to make my way up here.