FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Baseball returned to Fort Wayne on Sunday. And fans returned to Parkview Field in big numbers. A sell-out crowd of 7,090 came out to see the first TinCaps game of the season, a 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Lansing Lugnuts.
Fort Wayne (0-1) led most of the way Sunday only to see Lansing tie the game with a run in the top of the ninth inning on a single by Tim Locastro and go on top for good in the 10th with a Danny Jansen sacrifice fly.
The 2015 season got off to a promising start for the TinCaps in the year’s opening inning. Starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet retired the Lugnuts in order in the top half. Then in the bottom of the frame, center fielder Michael Gettys led off with a single and stole second base. After second baseman Josh VanMeter singled, shortstop Franchy Cordero drove Gettys home on a fielder’s choice.
Lansing (3-1) quickly answered Fort Wayne in the top of the second with a pair of runs to go up, 2-1. The Lugnuts didn’t have a hit in the inning but were aided by a hit-batter, two balks, two walks, and two wild pitches.
The TinCaps took a 3-2 lead in the fourth thanks to a two-out rally. With two outs and no one on base, third baseman Duanel Jones singled and came in on a double by left fielder Nick Torres. Designated hitter Henry Charles then doubled as well to plate Torres.
After two innings from Lamet, left-hander Taylor Aikenhead came in and threw four scoreless frames. Ball State alum T.J. Weir followed with two scoreless of his own, which included four strikeouts.
In the ninth for Lansing, D.J. Davis led off with a single against righty reliever Bryan Verbitsky. A sacrifice bunt and fly out advanced Davis to third base to score on Locastro’s two-out bouncer to third.
In the tenth, right-hander Wilson Santos (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Rowdy Tellez. A wild pitch moved Tellez to second, while a single from Ryan McBroom put Tellez on third.
On the heels of five innings from starter Chase Mallard and 3 and 1/3 frames of relief from Colton Turner, Phil Kish (1-0) threw 1 and 2/3 to earn the win for the visitors.
The TinCaps and Lugnuts continue their three-game series Monday at 7:05 p.m. In a matchup of right-handers, Walker Lockett is set to start for Fort Wayne against Lansing’s Conner Greene. The game can be seen on Comcast 81 and heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.