FORT WAYNE, Ind. – In their first meeting of the season against their intrastate rival, the TinCaps fell to the South Bend Silver Hawks, 10-3, Friday night at Parkview Field. Ryan Miller and Fernando Perez both homered for Fort Wayne, but South Bend slugged three home runs of its own on the way to the win.
Down 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Miller hit the first home run of his professional career. The Californian catcher, who was selected by the Padres out of San Bernardino College a year ago, blasted a lead-off shot to the Home Run Porch in left field. However, Fort Wayne (11-16) would get no closer than 4-2.
Silver Hawks first baseman Daniel Palka put the visitors back up by four runs with a towering two-run homer to right-center field in the top of the fifth to make it 6-2. South Bend (16-12) plated three more in the sixth to increase its lead to 9-3, and added another in the eighth for good measure.
On a night when the Silver Hawks tallied 17 hits, Palka shined brightest with four, including his homer and a triple, as he drove in three runs. Eight South Bend batters had at least one hit.
The TinCaps had plenty of hits as well. Ten to be exact. But the home team went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. First baseman Jake Bauers, 18, had a team-high three hits, while Perez, whose eighth-inning homer was his third of the season, contributed a pair.
Jose Martinez (1-0) received credit for the South Bend win. The 19-year-old starter made his Midwest League debut, which lasted five innings. He yielded two runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Meanwhile, Walker Weickel (1-4) took the loss for Fort Wayne. The 20-year-old right-hander struck out five in his 5 2/3 innings, but also was charged with nine runs.
The TinCaps look to even the three-game series back at Parkview Field on Saturday evening at 5:05. Adriana De Horta (0-1, 4.74) gets the ball for Fort Wayne against South Bend’s Aaron Blair (1-1, 2.56), who leads the Midwest League in strikeouts. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.