EASTLAKE, Ohio – As has become the norm for the TinCaps against the Lake County Captains over the last three weekends, Fort Wayne dug itself a massive hole on Friday night and then attempted an improbable comeback. The TinCaps scored the final six runs of the game, but after falling behind 8-1, that wasn’t good enough. So for the second consecutive game, Fort Wayne fell by a final of 8-7.
On Thursday, the TinCaps left the tying run at third base in the ninth inning. On Friday, Fort Wayne (26-34, 56-73) left the equalizing run at second. This comes after the Summit City team overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the Captains on August 7.
It was a night that started with promise, too. Trea Turner led the game off with a solo home run down the right-field line. The opposite-field shot was his fourth in 36 games as a TinCap.
Fort Wayne’s 1-0 lead lasted until the third inning when the wheels came off for Ronald Herrera (6-9). The 19-year-old starter from Venezuela had allowed only one base runner through the first two innings, but gave up a game-tying home run to Grant Fink to begin the third. Herrera induced a groundout after that, and it would be the last out he would record. The next six batters reached against the right-hander, and just like that, the Captains took a 5-1 lead.
Lake County (32-27, 59-70) added one run in each of the next three innings against reliever Erik Cabrera to go up 8-1.
But in 2014, when the going gets tough, the TinCaps get going. Turner had an RBI single in the seventh to cut Fort Wayne’s lead to 8-2. In the eighth, Nick Schulz vaulted a two-run homer to left field that brought the TinCaps within four, 8-4.
Wander Beras did his best to relinquish the lead in the top of the ninth inning before Captains closer Trevor Frank saved the game. Beras allowed singles to Josh VanMeter and Turner to start the ninth and then hit Ronnie Richardson and walked Fernando Perez to plate a run and make it 8-5.
With the bases still loaded, Jake Bauers lined out to second (on what looked like it would be a hit off the bat). Second baseman Claudio Bautista then beat Richardson to second for a double play. Frank came in, threw a wild pitch to score Turner, and then allowed a run-scoring single to Ryan Miller that put Fort Wayne down just 8-7. That was the final after Schulz struck out. He was 4-for-4 in the game before that.
The win rightfully went to Mitch Brown (7-8) who threw six scoreless innings-worth after allowing the Turner leadoff homer. Brown struck out eight, including six in a row from the second through fourth innings.
The TinCaps and Captains conclude their season series on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Jimmi Brasoban will start for Fort Wayne against Jordan Milbrath. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.