FORT WAYNE, Ind — The TinCaps won their third game in a row on Saturday night. Behind superb starting pitching from Jeffery Enloe and 14 hits, Fort Wayne topped Wisconsin, 8-4, in front of Parkview Field’s 17th sell-out crowd of the season.
Similar to a 6-2 route of Beloit on Friday, the TinCaps jumped to an early 4-0 lead over Wisconsin, and didn’t stop there in front of 7,570 fans.
The speed of lead-off batter Trea Turner paid off in the bottom of the first inning. Turner singled off Wisconsin starting pitcher Barrett Astin (6-5), stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ronnie Richardson to give Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the TinCaps sent nine batters to the plate, combining five hits (all singles) with a walk to score three more times, in taking a 4-0 edge.
Wisconsin (54-49, 18-16) got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning, when Michael Ratterree tripled off Enloe (3-3), then scored on an infield single by Clint Coulter, trimming the deficit to 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Franmil Reyes belted his ninth home run of the season on to the concourse beyond the wall in left field, scoring Richardson (who was hit by a pitch) in front of him to up the TinCap lead to 6-1. Reyes finished the game a triple shy of the cycle.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Nick Schulz just missed hitting a two-run home run, when his 400-foot blast to center field was ruled to have hit just below the top of the wall. Schulz settled for a run-scoring triple, and would later score on a single by Turner, giving Fort Wayne an 8-1 lead. Like Reyes, Turner had a three-hit performance plus two runs batted in.
The Timber Rattlers scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to narrow the gap to 8-4, but the TinCaps brought in Ryan Butler from the bullpen to pitch the ninth. The right-hander retired the side in order to preserve the win.
Fort Wayne (14-20, 44-59) will try to make it two wins in a row over Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon, sending Ronald Herrera to the mound against Chad Thompson. The game is set for 1:05 p.m., and can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app, and seen on Xfinity Channel 81.