By Cory Stace
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The TinCaps erupted for 13 hits en route to a 7-3 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) on Thursday night at Parkview Field in the series finale of a four-game series. With the win in front of 6,449 fans, the TinCaps took the series against the Whitecaps, 3-1.
Fort Wayne (17-22) got a great start from Aaron Leasher, who went five innings, allowing only one earned run while striking out a professional career-high eight batters.
The TinCaps offense helped Leasher in the bottom of the second inning. First baseman Carlos Belen and right fielder Jack Suwinski each chipped in RBI singles to put the TinCaps ahead, 2-0.
West Michigan (20-19) responded in the top of the fourth inning. Luke Burch led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout from Dylan Rosa to narrow the margin to 2-1.
The Whitecaps took the lead momentarily in the top of the fifth. Jordan Pearce scored on a fielding error by the TinCaps to tie the game at 2-2. Burch followed the score up with an RBI single that brought home Cole Peterson to give West Michigan a 3-2 advantage.
Then, Fort Wayne’s offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth inning. Designated hitter Tirso Ornelas gave the TinCaps a 4-3 lead with a two-run single on a ground ball through the hole into right field to score left fielder Tre Carter and center fielder Jeisson Rosario.
Catcher Luis Campusano followed with a two-run single of his own to score second baseman Esteury Ruiz and Ornelas and give Fort Wayne a 6-3 edge. The five-run inning was capped off by a RBI single from Belen to give the TinCaps a 7-3 advantage.
The Fort Wayne bullpen held the 7-3 lead intact. The ‘pen combined to go four innings, allowing only two hits and no runs. The defense helped too as Rosario once again flashed the leather in center field with a head-first diving catch to save a hit in the top of the sixth inning.
The final score was apropos for Colts At Bat Night. Before the game, Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle and quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw out first pitches. Blue, the Colts mascot, and cheerleaders also entertained fans before and during the Colts special event.
Friday, May 18 vs. South Bend Cubs (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Nick Margevicius
– Cubs Probable Starter: RHP Rollie Lacy
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