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The Journal Gazette

Monday, September 11, 2017 9:50 pm

TinCaps slay Dragons, advance to league finals

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

DAYTON, Ohio – For the third time in franchise history, the TinCaps are headed to the Midwest League Championship Series.

In Monday night's winner-take-all Game 3 of the Eastern Division Championship Series, Fort Wayne beat Dayton 3-0 at Fifth Third Field behind another exemplary pitching performance from Michel Baez.

Mixing just enough curveballs and changeups to complement his overpowering fastball, Baez went five innings and held the Dragons to two hits with seven strikeouts.

Early offense bolstered the TinCaps' cause, just as it did in their 6-0 victory in Game 2. Hudson Potts launched a solo home run in the first inning, and Fort Wayne added both its other runs in the second. Gabriel Arias hit an RBI groundout and Buddy Reed an RBI single.

That 3-0 lead proved more than enough even as Baez passed the baton to three relievers. Ronald Bolanos threw two innings, Dauris Valdez retired three of the four hitters he faced, and Hansel Rodriguez recorded the final three outs for the save.

The TinCaps, who last reached the league finals in 2012, are seeking their second Midwest League championship. The first was 2009.

The series begins Wednesday at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne's opponent will be either Quad Cities or Cedar Rapids.