FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On a warm and muggy Monday night in Downtown Fort Wayne, the TinCaps beat the Lake County Captains, 10-5, in the opening game of a three-game set. Despite an early 3-0 deficit, Fort Wayne’s offense overpowered Lake County with a 14-hit attack.
The TinCaps had at least one hit in seven of their eight trips to the plate Monday, but two key frames made the difference. Down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, Fort Wayne (15-21) exploded for a five-run frame. Dustin Peterson and Jake Bauers both delivered RBI singles to chip into the deficit, while a three-run homer by Ryan Miller gave the home team its first lead at 5-3. The blast over the left-center field fence was Miller’s second in his last three games, although the catcher was playing Monday for the first time in eight days.
Lake County (11-26) answered Fort Wayne in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs to tie the game, 5-5. The TinCaps wasted no time in responding themselves by manufacturing a run in the bottom of the inning to go ahead, 6-5. The turning point then came in the sixth. Luis Lugo — on in relief of starter Dace Kime (0-6) — allowed four runs in the inning, as Fort Wayne sent eight batters to the plate. Franmil Reyes scored two with a double, while Bauers added another RBI single. Josh VanMeter, who had a two-hit night, also scored on an error.
Six TinCaps batters produced multi-hit games on Monday, including Miller and Bauers who both had three. The offense aided the cause of starter Payton Baskette (1-1), who had the longest outing of his young career. The 2013 draftee went six innings and struck out five. Tony Rizzotti, Eric Yardley, and Wilson Santos each tossed a shutout inning of relief.
The TinCaps look to take their second in a row over the Captains on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne is set to start Carmel High School and University of Evansville alum Kyle Lloyd (1-1, 2.16) against Lake County’s Jordan Milbrath (1-2, 1.04). The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.