South Bend, IN – Ryan Miller hit a 12th inning solo home run Friday night to break a 1-1 tie and give the TinCaps a much-needed 3-1 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks at Four Winds Field. The victory snapped a 13-game regular-season losing streak for the TinCaps in South Bend, which dated back to August 1, 2012.
Miller’s home run, his team-leading eighth of the year, came against reliever John Shuttlesworth (1-2), who had faced just six batters in his first two innings. The home run gave the TinCaps just their second run in their last 21 innings, having been shut out Thursday night against Dayton at Parkview Field. Josh VanMeter contributed an RBI single later in the inning against reliever Jose Jose.
Fort Wayne (5-3, 35-42) broke open the scoring with a first-inning run off the bat off Franmil Reyes. Silver Hawks starter Blake Perry issued a leadoff walk to Ronnie Richardson, who took second on a wild pitch and scored just three batters later. Perry allowed only four hits, and after a Henry Charles single in the fifth, the TinCaps did not pick up a hit for the next 3 2/3 innings, with only Luis Tejada reaching base in the seventh after being hit by a pitch until Ryan Miller’s two-out ninth-inning single to left.
South Bend (3-5, 44-34) was held scoreless through the first four innings by TinCaps starter Ronald Herrera. In his fifth start in a Fort Wayne uniform, which lasted five innings, Herrera allowed just one run. With two down in the fifth, Zach Esquerra singled and Chuck Taylor followed with an RBI double to tie the game.
Tony Rizzotti (3-2) earned the victory with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, which had a stellar night. Rizzotti, Jorge Guzman, Eric Yardley and Nick Mutz combined for seven scoreless innings. The game also saw the debut of outfielder Nick Schulz, who was transferred to Fort Wayne from Short-Season Eugene prior to the game. Schulz replaced Luis Tejada in the top of the 12th, picked up a single, and finished the game in right field.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The scheduled starters are southaws Payton Baskette for Fort Wayne and Hector Hernandez for South Bend. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380 and TinCaps.com.