FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Despite trailing by five runs entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the TinCaps came back to beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 7-6, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games and won its 13th in a row at home in front of a sell-out crowd of 7,528 (the 20th sell-out of the year).
Franmil Reyes hit a pinch-hit single to left-center field that scored Luis Urias from third base for the game-winning run, and the team’s 10th walk-off victory of the season. It was the third time this year Reyes provided the walk-off hit.
The first-place TinCaps lead West Michigan by 3 1/2-games in the Midwest League Eastern Division with 21 games remaining in the regular season. Fort Wayne is 7 games in front of both Bowling Green and South Bend, who are currently chasing West Michigan for the wild card.
Down 6-1 in the ninth, Urias sparked the rally with an infield-single to third against John Curtiss. Trae Santos followed with a two-run homer off the Tuthill 400 Club in straightaway-center field. Edwin Moreno then made it back-to-back long balls with a shot to right, pulling the TinCaps within a pair.
After the next two batters were retired, Josh VanMeter and Ruddy Giron drew back-to-back walks. At that point, Curtiss was replaced by Yorman Landa (L, 1-1), who gave up a two-run, game-tying, opposite-field single to Luis Tejada.
Prior to Tejada’s hit, the home team was 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position on the day.
In the 10th, Urias led off again and hit a grounder to third base that was fielded by T.J. White, but his throw pulled Pat Kelly off the bag at first, allowing Urias to reach on an error. Santos moved Urias to second with a groundout to the right side. Moreno was then intentionally walked. Urias and Moreno each advanced a base on a wild pitch, setting the stage for Reyes.
Statistically, Fort Wayne had a 0.6% chance to win when coming to bat in the ninth. Once there were two outs and no one on base, the chance for a win was 1.3%.
Yimmi Brasoban (W, 5-3) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th inning. But not to be overlooked in the epic comeback, TinCaps starter Thomas Dorminy threw six no-hit innings.
In the seventh, however, he finally allowed a hit, and the Kernels wound up scoring four runs (two earned) in the frame to take a 4-1 lead.
Cedar Rapids (27-22, 68-51) added two more runs in the top of the eighth.
Fort Wayne (32-17, 64-53) originally led 1-0 through six after scoring a run in the fourth without a hit. Urias walked, got to second on a Santos groundout, and moved to third on a wild-pitch strike three to Moreno, who made it to first safely. While Moreno was then caught stealing, Urias came in to score.
On the day 2,000 bobbleheads in his likeness were given away to fans, VanMeter — the Ossian, Ind., native — was the only TinCap with a multi-hit game as he doubled and singled.