Jorge Ona bats with bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th inning. Credit: Ken Bugajski/EVT News

Fort Wayne, Indiana

After four and a half innings of back-and-forth baseball, the TinCaps broke open the game after the midway point, scoring 13 runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings for an eventual 18-5 victory over the Great Lakes Loons.

With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, the first three TinCaps batters loaded the bases with two walks and a single. After a visit from the Loons dugout, reliever Aneurys Zabala hit Kyle Overstreet to force in a run. Buddy Reed then hit a soft grounder to third, but home plate umpire James Folske ruled catcher interference, allowing G. K. Young to score, and keeping the bases loaded. After two batters recorded outs, Fernando Tatis Jr. drew a walk, bringing Hudson Potts across the plate. Nate Easley followed with a line-drive single that rose just above the glove of leaping second-baseman Jared Walker, scoring Tatis, Jr. and making the score 11-5. The Loons then brought in Dan Jagiello, who recorded the final out to the tenth batter of the inning, Jorge Ona.

The TinCaps continued to pour it on as the game continued, adding a pair in the sixth. Young led off with a walk, and Potts’ solid hit to right center put runners on first and second. Overstreet lined a double down the right field line, clearing the bases to make the score 13-5.

In the seventh, Jagiello walked the first three batters to load the bases. Oña had an infield hit to third, scoring Reinaldo Ilarraza, and Tatis, Jr. came around after a throwing error to first. Two batters later, Potts cranked a three-run homer to left field, his 15th on the season.

Although the game finished as a blowout, the lead shifted early in the game. The Loons scored first, as Adrian Morejon struggled throughout his fourth appearance for the TinCaps. After lead-off man Cody Thomas struck out, Tyler Adkinson and Jeren Kendall reached base on a double and walk, respectively. After a second K, Morejon gave up a two-out homer to Connor Wong, giving the Loons a 3-0 lead.

Credit: Ken Bugajski/EVT News

The TinCaps responded in the bottom of the second. Leadoff batter Potts was hit by a pitch, and Overstreet then drew a walk. With two outs, Ilarraza hit a triple to the center field warning track to clear the bases. Tatis, Jr. followed with a ground rule double to score Ilarraza. With a 2-2 count on Easley, Tatis, Jr. stole third base and came home on a throwing error by Wong, giving the TinCaps a 4-3 lead.

Morejon ran into more trouble in the top of the third, as he gave up two singles to start the inning. On the second one, a throwing error by Young put runners on second and third. Walker punched a double down the right field line, regaining the lead for the Loons 5-4.

After the double, manager Anthony Contreras brought in Jim McDade, who was brilliant in five innings of relief. McDade retired 15 consecutive batters over five innings of work, collecting five strikeouts along the way. Jordan Guerrero was also solid in concluding the game. Over two innings, he gave up a walk and two singles in two innings, but all six outs in the eighth and ninth innings were Ks.

Game Notes: In the bottom of the fifth, Easley extended his on-base streak to 22 games with a single that scored Ilarraza to tie the game at 5-5. . . .As reported by Mike Maahs and Mike Tricarico on the TinCaps’ radio broadcast, McDade has not given up a walk since June 1. . . . The TinCaps sent more than three batters to the plate every inning but the eighth.

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Ken A. Bugajski
Ken A. Bugajski lives and works in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An English professor by trade, he spends many summer nights with his wife and daughter at Parkview Field, home of the TinCaps.

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