Epic Comeback Leads to 12-11 TinCaps Win

Credit; EVT Sports

Credit: EVT Sports

Fort Wayne, Indiana

In a game where they trailed 8-0 and 11-2, the TinCaps, led by Juwaun Harris, scored ten unanswered runs to beat the Peoria Chiefs 12-11, setting a record for the biggest comeback victory in franchise history.

The TinCaps sealed the win with a five-run eighth inning. Working his third inning of relief with an 11-7 lead, Chiefs pitcher Freddy Pacheco gave up two consecutive one-out walks and was then replaced by Eli Kraus. Kraus walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. With a 1-1 count, Juwaun Harris launched a no-doubt grand slam over the left-field fence to tie the game.

The TinCaps took the lead as, with two outs and a runner on first, Augustin Ruiz hit a deep grounder to third and beat the throw for an infield hit. With runners at the corners, manager Anthony Contreras called for a double steal. When Chiefs catcher Alexis Wilson attempted to throw out Ruiz, Ethan Skender broke from third, easily sliding into home for the game-winning run.

The historic comeback started in the fourth inning. Skender led off with a triple. Ruiz followed with a rocket that bounced off the glove of shortstop Delvin Perez to bring in Skender. After a single from Blake

Credit: EVT Sports/Ethan Skender bats in the 7th inning.

Hunt, Justin Lopez, and Luke Becker both advanced the runners on consecutive ground outs, with Ruiz scoring on Becker’s to bring the game to 8-2.

The TinCaps struck again in the fifth. With one out, Harris drove the ball almost 400 feet for his first home run of the night. Skender singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ruiz doubled off the left-field wall to bring in Skender, and Blake Hunt followed with a two-run rainbow that sailed over the fence in left and cut the Chiefs’ lead to 11-6. The TinCaps added one run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Becker and Michael Curry.

The stunning turnaround came after the Chiefs roughed up starter Sam Keating. Over four innings, Keating gave up eight runs on eight hits; he had one base on balls, one strikeout, and three hit batsmen. The Chiefs jumped to an early lead, scoring two in the first and adding three more in the second. A three-run homer in the top of the fourth gave the Chiefs their 8-0 lead. Austin Smith took over for Keating in the fifth and gave up three more runs before settling down and retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced.

The series with the Chiefs continues Friday night.

GAME NOTES

Announced attendance was 7,752.

Skender, Ruiz, Hunt, Curry, and Harris all had multiple-hit games, and eight of nine TinCaps batters reached base at least once.

Harris had only three home runs for the season before tonight’s two home run performance.

In total, the game featured a total of 23 runs on 25 hits. Both teams had two errors apiece.

In the Condiment Packet Race, Relish entered the stadium in the lead but was denied his first victory after being tripped up by Ketchup. Mustard leads the season 17-14-0.

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Ken A. Bugajski on EmailKen A. Bugajski on Twitter
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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