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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, July 05, 2018 10:30 pm

TinCaps beat Great Lakes 6-5 in 10 innings, complete sweep

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

The TinCaps trailed by three runs going into the bottom of the 10th, but scored four in the inning to win it. Robbie Podorsky walked to lead off the inning. Esteury Ruiz followed with a slow chopper up the middle that went for an infield single. The throw was wild to first base and Jack Suwinski came around to score, letting Ruiz reach second and Podorsky get to third with nobody out. Tirso Ornelas singled in Podorsky to make it 5-4. Luis Campusano followed with a chopper to third. Ruiz tried to score from third and the throw came home to try to cut him off. The throw beat the runner, but Ruiz slid around the tag and scored to tie it at 5. He was fired up as he bounced back to the TinCaps' dugout, which went crazy. Two batters later, Justin Lopez walked with the bases loaded, bringing in the winning run and setting off a wild celebration at first base.

The game was tied after nine innings and went into extras, the seventh time this season Fort Wayne has played extra innings. With one out and runners on first and third, Great Lakes designated hitter Brock Carpenter stepped to the plate against the TinCaps' Evan Miller. On a 2-1 pitch, Carpenter got a fastball and crushed it the other way for a three-run homer, putting Great Lakes in front 5-2. It was Carpenter's third homer of the season in just 16 games and it traveled 380 feet, setting up the comeback.

The TinCaps jumped in front early once again, this time with a first-inning tally. With one out, Ruiz grounded a single through the hole between third and short. With Tirso Ornelas at the plate, Ruiz took off and easily stole second to move into scoring position. Ruiz trying to steal after reaching first is nearly an automatic occurence at this point, but he's only been caught eight times this season.

Ornelas followed by roping a single to center that was hit so hard Ruiz had to stop at third. The throw from center was a looper that reached the plate, letting Ornelas move up to second. That extra base turned out to be important, because Luis Campusano followed with an RBI grounder to short to put Fort Wayne up 1-0. With Ornelas still on first, it likely would've been a double play ball.

The TinCaps added another run in the third to make it 2-0 and from there, Luis Patino took over. The 18-year-old right-hander continued the TinCaps' run of dominant pitching in this series, getting through his first five innings without giving up a run or a hit. He walked two, but picked both of them off first base. The right-hander got stronger as his night went on and struck out four of his final five hitters.

Patino exited after giving up a two-out walk in the fifth, giving way to reliever Caleb Boushley. Boushley got a ground ball to third that should have ended the inning, but Ruiz threw the ball away, putting runners on first and third. Shortstop Deacon Liput followed with a long fly ball to center that neither Podorsky nor right-fielder Tirso Ornelas could corral. It went for a triple, Liput's first professional hit, and both runs scored, knotting the game at 2. Boushley slammed his fist on the Fort Wayne bench after recording the third out.

Player of the Game: Luis Patino

Coming off his best start of the season – 6 1/3 innings of 1-run ball – Patino nearly topped himself. The youngest pitcher in the Midwest League pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run without surrendering a hit. He struck out eight, including four straight between the fifth and sixth. No runner reached second base while Patino was in the game. His sixth inning was particularly impressive, as he fired fastball after fastball, all at 95-96 mph and the Loons couldn't touch him. 

Facts and figures

The TinCaps are 13-4 against the Loons this season and have won seven in a row against Great Lakes. ... The TinCaps are 4-3 in extra innings this season. ... Fort Wayne pitched 23 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the sixth. ... Robbie Podorsky came in hitting .548 in seven games against Great Lakes this season and went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a stolen base and a walk. He has six multi-hit games in his last eight and is hitting .361 this season. ... The TinCaps have won seven in a row at Parkview Field. ... Esteury Ruiz came in tied for second in the league in steals with 30 and stole two bases. He also stole two bases on Wednesday. ... Loons shortstop Deacon Liput was playing his first professional game after getting picked in the 2018 draft. ... Great Lakes starter Edwin Uceta had his best start of the season, going six innings for the first time and giving up one earned run. He struck out three. ... Jessie Bates, a former Snider standout and second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2018 NFL Draft, threw out the first pitch before the game and signed autographs.

What's next?

The TinCaps will go for a fifth straight win Friday, taking on the Bowling Green Hot Rods in the first of a four-game set. Fort Wayne will send right-hander Mason Thompson (6-4, 5.07 ERA) to the mound. Thompson has set a career-high for strikeouts in two straight starts (seven whiffs on June 24, nine in his most recent outing). The Hot Rods will counter with right-hander Tommy Romero (6-3, 2.10 ERA), who ranks second in the league in ERA.