Fort Wayne, IN – A day after an adrenaline-filled 8-6 walk-off win Saturday at Parkview Field, the TinCaps suffered the most lopsided loss in franchise history, 19-1, to the West Michigan Whitecaps in downtown Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne (25-31) starter Payton Baskette (1-2) got off to a slow start in what would be a short day for the Texan lefthander. After walking two batters, he gave up a two-run double to West Michigan (32-25) designated hitter Jeff Holm. The TinCaps got in the board in the bottom half of the inning, but it came with a high cost. Mallex Smith was hit by a pitch, stole his professional baseball-leading 42nd base, and scored on a Dustin Peterson RBI single.
With the next batter, Franmil Reyes, at the plate, TinCaps Manager Michael Collins was ejected during an argument with home plate umpire Andrew Chestnut over a check swing. It was the first time Collins, who turned the managerial reins over to hitting coach and former independent baseball manager Morgan Burkhart, has been ejected this season.
Although Baskette retired the side in order in the second, he could not escape further trouble in the third. The Whitecaps sent all nine batters to the plate and highlighted a five-run inning with a three-run home run from Holm. After the third, which was Baskette’s last inning, West Michigan led, 8-1.
In his shortest start of the season, Baskette threw 73 pitches, 38 of them for strikes. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits, walked a season-high-tying five batters and fanned two.
His replacement, Tony Rizzotti, surrendered home runs to two of the first three batters he faced, and also allowed seven runs, all of them earned, leaving with the TinCaps down, 14-1. Wilson Santos followed Rizzotti, and allowed five runs (four earned) in two innings.
Jon Maciel (3-2) earned the victory for West Michigan, allowing one earned run over six innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter, while scattering five hits.
Prior to this defeat, the largest margin of defeat the Fort Wayne franchise had suffered was 16 runs. On three past occasions-May 18, 1996 at Michigan (20-4), July 20, 1997 against Beloit (17-1), and August 2, 2012 (16-0) at South Bend-Fort Wayne had lost by 16 runs.
The rubber match of the three-game series is scheduled for Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The pitching matchup is scheduled to feature Walker Weickel on the hill for Fort Wayne and Kevin Ziomek taking the ball for West Michigan.