Fort Wayne, Indiana
On an unseasonably cool August night, the TinCaps’ bats were on fire as they defeated the first-place West Michigan Whitecaps, 16-3.
Four TinCaps hit home runs, Reinaldo Ilarraza and Brad Zunica had four RBI each, and third baseman Hudson Potts was 4-5, including doubles in three consecutive at-bats.
The Whitecaps took an early lead off starter Luke Bachar in the top of the second. Following a lead-off walk and sacrifice bunt, Dylan Burdeaux doubled, sending a drive over the head of left fielder Jorge Oña and scoring Isaac Paredes. Two batters later, Chad Sedio hit a sacrifice fly to Oña, bringing in Burdeaux.
The TinCaps responded in the bottom of the second, loading the bases for Ilarraza, who sent a deep drive to center, scoring two and tying the game. After that, the TinCaps never looked back.
In the bottom of the third, Zunica brought in his first RBI on the night with a sacrifice fly to right, and Marcus Greene added two more with a shot to left field that landed in the fourth row of the home run porch, giving the TinCaps a 5-2 lead. In the fourth, Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit a solo home run, his 18th of the season, to right-center field.
The runs kept coming in the fifth. After a walk to Zunica, Potts hit his first double of the game. Following an intentional walk to Green, Buddy Reed punched a single between first and second base, bringing Ilarraza to the plate with the bases loaded for the second time in the game. He delivered again, sending a blooper into short center field to score Potts, increasing the lead to 8-2.
The Whitecaps added a run in the top of the sixth, but the TinCaps answered again in their half of the inning. Tatis, Jr. drew a lead-off walk and, after several pick-off attempts, successfully stole second base and then took third on the next pitch. Zunica followed with a two-out, two-run bomb to right field that stayed just fair. Reed completed the scoring for the 6th with a single that brought in Potts, who had doubled after the home run.
With the game well in hand at 11-3 heading into the seventh, the TinCaps kept pouring it on, producing the biggest inning of the xcasinobonuses.net evening, sending ten batters to the plate and bringing in five. Jack Suwinski led off the inning with a first-pitch home run to right field. Tatis, Jr. drew another walk, and following a fly out by Nate Easley, Oña reached base on an error, putting runners at first and second. Consecutive doubles by Zunica and Potts netted three more runs, and Ilarraza capped the scoring with a double of his own, bringing in Potts and giving the TinCaps a 16-3 lead.
— Fort Wayne TinCaps (@TinCaps) August 5, 2017
With the TinCaps’ total of 18 hits on the night, TinCaps’ pitchers had all the support they needed. Starter Bachar lasted five innings and gave up two runs on five hits in his second start for the TinCaps. Jose Galindo replaced Bachar in the top of the sixth, and, although he gave up only one run and one hit, he struggled with control, walking four of the 10 batters he faced in two innings of work. Newcomer Jordan Guerrero recorded a one-two-three eighth inning, his first for the TinCaps. In his sixth mound appearance of 2017, first baseman G. K. Young closed out the game in the ninth.
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.