And then there was one.
The TinCaps are down to a single game remaining in the 2019 season after falling to the Lansing Lugnuts 7-5 at Parkview Field on Sunday in front of an announced crowd of 6,060, despite a mammoth two-run homer from Jawuan Harris.
After the game, the TinCaps stayed out on the field, taking in a standing ovation from the crowd. They then sat down in foul territory near their dugout to watch a video of season highlights and a fireworks show.
“I just watched the fireworks right now and I see them and it's unbelievable that this season has gone so fast,” said Jhonny Carvajal, who is acting as the Fort Wayne manager in the last week of the season.
Harris' home run was a monster shot to left field, a towering fly ball on a teed-up fastball in the third inning. The ball traveled 418 feet in the cool night air for the center fielder's eighth homer of the season.
“(It was) a fastball in,” Harris said of the home run pitch. “My first at-bat (Lugnuts pitcher Cobi Johnson) threw it there to start off the (bottom of the first), then he worked away after that, so I figured he would do the same thing. He missed first pitch up, so I'm thinking he's going to come back low and he did and I caught it.”
After he launched the ball to left, Harris admired his work for a moment or two, knowing that it would clear the fence by plenty. He eventually dropped the bat and began a slow walk toward first base. The blast brought Fort Wayne within 3-2.
“It felt good,” said Harris, who went 2 for 3 with two walks to extend his seasonlong on-base streak to 16 games. “It had been a rough two games (0 for 7 with six strikeouts and three walks) since I ended a nine-game (hitting) streak, but to come back and put a charge into that ball like that, it's a real confidence booster.”
The TinCaps were playing catch-up all night after Lansing took the lead two batters into the game. Fort Wayne starting pitcher Omar Cruz, a 20-year-old left-hander, had given up one earned run in his previous five starts combined, but gave one up Sunday before he recorded an out.
The Lugnuts picked up two runs in the first, another in the third and two more in the four off Cruz, who worked four innings, gave up four earned runs and struck out six. The Lansing lead ballooned to 7-2 after it pushed across two more runs in the fifth.
Fort Wayne fought back behind a big night from catcher Chandler Seagle, who doubled and scored in the fifth and had a sacrifice fly in the sixth. The TinCaps couldn't come up with a big hit in the late innings, however, finishing 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Designated hitter Michael Curry grounded out with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth and again with runners on second and third with two gone in the eighth.
It was Hispanic Celebration Night at Parkview Field, with the team's Latin American players welcoming fans to the ballpark in Spanish on the videoboard prior to the game and hitters and pitching changes being announced in Spanish for several innings.
vs. Lansing Lugnuts
Where: Parkview Field
When: 1:05 p.m.
Pitchers: Efrain Contreras (TinCaps) vs. Sean Wymer (Lugnuts)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM