SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Hours after power was restored in downtown South Bend following an outage that lasted two-and-a-half days (and affected more than 800 homes and businesses), the offenses of the TinCaps and Silver Hawks were also surging on Sunday afternoon at Four Winds Field. In a game of twists and turns, South Bend figuratively out-powered Fort Wayne, 11-10, in walk-off fashion.
After the TinCaps had taken a lead with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Silver Hawks responded with two runs of their own to win. South Bend (25-17) first baseman Daniel Palka provided the game-winning single against Nick Mutz (0-2) with two outs to score Zach Esquerra. Fort Wayne (17-25) squandered leads of 3-0, 5-2, 8-5, and 10-9 in the loss.
If not for the final Silver Hawks’ rally, TinCaps catcher Ryan Miller would have been the star of the game. With Fort Wayne down 9-8 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Miller hit a two-run pinch-hit single to right field off Will Locante (2-0) that put the TinCaps up, 10-9.
Hits were a dime a dozen on Sunday. Both teams had tallied double digits in hits by the fifth inning. South Bend finished with 19 — the most allowed by the TinCaps in a game this season — while Fort Wayne had 15. Eight of the TinCaps’ nine batters had at least one hit, including third baseman Dustin Peterson, who homered, and center fielder Mallex Smith, who had a team-high three hits.
On the other side, Silver Hawks second baseman Jamie Westbrook and catcher B.J. Lopez both turned in four-hit performances. Westbrook entered the game with two home runs on the season and matched that during the course of Sunday’s contest.
Sunday’s setback was Fort Wayne’s 13th in a row at South Bend dating back to 2012. It also marked the first time the TinCaps were swept in a four-game series on the road since 2009 when it happened May 12-15 at Great Lakes.
The TinCaps look to get back in the win column on the road Monday against the Lake County Captains. Fort Wayne is scheduled to start Kyle Lloyd (1-1, 1.74) against Lake County’s Adam Plutko (2-1, 4.58). The 7:00 game can be heard on The Fan 1380, TheFanFortWayne.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.