Sunday marked the end of the regular season for the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
In their last series of the year, the TinCaps traveled to the neighboring state of Ohio to take on the Dayton Dragons, the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
The TinCaps were already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Going into the weekend, the Dragons did have aspirations of making the playoffs, but their destiny was not in their own hands.
Walks, Big Innings Lead to Dayton’s Dominance
The TinCaps stay in Dayton did not get off to a good start. In game one, the TinCaps gave up one run in the 1st, three in the 2nd, and five in the 3rd. Connor Lehmann went 2.2 IP giving up six walks, eight earned runs, and gave up two home runs. The TinCaps finally broke through in the 9th inning to avoid the shutout, scoring two runs.
Again, the Dayton Dragons got off to a quick start Wednesday scoring two runs in the 1st inning. Gabe Mosser started for the TinCaps, going 2.2 innings pitched while giving up three earned runs on six hits. After his departure, five TinCap relievers gave up nine walks. The TinCaps got a 2nd inning homerun from Justin Lopez. In the 5th, Euribiel Angeles laid a sacrifice bunt down that scored Ripken Reyes. That was all the TinCaps could get as the offense was just not there,. Fort Wayne only recorded four hits for the ball game.
On Thursday for the first time in the series, a TinCaps starting pitching was able to get out of the 1st inning without giving up a run. However, Dayton struck for three runs in the 2nd and two in the 3rd to jump out to an early 5-0 lead. Danny Denz went five innings, allowing five runs on four hits. Denz collected six strikeouts along with a pickoff of a runner at 1st base. The TinCaps got two runs in the 7th and three runs in the 9th. Fort Wayne went 2-for-13 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
Nothing changed in Friday’s contest. TinCaps batters went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The pitching staff gave up eight walks. Dayton jumped out to a 4-0 lead on an early big inning in the 3rd. Brandon Valenzuela continued to impress as he collected two hits and recorded an RBI.
Saturday, the Dragons got off to a fast start (sound familiar?), scoring eight runs in the first four innings. The TinCaps were a dismal 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position (sound familiar?) in the game. With Dayton’s playoff chances out of their control, they learned Saturday they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Sunday afternoon was much of the same as the Dayton Dragons handed the TinCaps a six-game sweep to send them into the offseason. Again, Dayton scored in the 1st inning to put the pressure on Fort Wayne. The TinCaps responded with two runs in the 2nd to tie the game. Brandon Valenzuela hit a solo home run, and then Reinaldo Ilarraza singled home Justin Lopez. But that was it for Fort Wayne in the contest.
The High-A Central Championship Series will take place between Quads Cities River Bandits and the Cedar Rapids Kerns. Both clubs are the High-A affiliate of MLB American League Central Division organizations. The Bandits represent the Kansas City Royals. The Kernels are part of the Minnesota Twins organization. Both clubs are from the West division in the High-A Central.
Be on the lookout for my TinCaps Season in Review and more content continuing into the offseason.
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