BOWLING GREEN, Kent. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps opened the 2017 season with a 4-1 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Thursday evening. TinCaps right-hander Jesse Scholtens struck out a career-high 11 batters en route to the win.
The TinCaps (1-0) jumped on the board right off the bat in the top of the first inning off Hot Rods right-hander J.D. Busfield. Jack Suwinski led off the inning with a single. With Eguy Rosario batting, Suwinski stole second base. After Rosario struck out, Fernando Tatis Jr. worked a walk. Jorge Oña followed with a base hit to load the bases. Hudson Potts then hit a sacrifice fly out to right field to score Suwinski and give Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead.
The Hot Rods (0-1) tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Garrett Whitley singled. Eleardo Cabrera then reached first by grounding into a fielder’s choice in which Whitley was thrown out at second base. Michael Brosseau followed with a double down the left-field line. On the play, Cabrera scored from first base to tie the game at one.
Fort Wayne responded with three runs in the top of the sixth inning off Bowling Green right-hander Adrian Navas (L, 0-1). Rosario and Tatis Jr. both walked to lead off the inning. With runners on first and second, Oña tripled to right-center field, scoring Rosario and Tatis Jr. to put the TinCaps back in front, 3-1. With Potts batting, Navas threw a wild pitch that allowed Oña to score from third and gave Fort Wayne a 4-1 lead.
Scholtens (W, 1-0), on his 23rd birthday, allowed just one run in five-and-two-thirds innings pitched and picked up the win. His 11 strikeouts are the most for a TinCaps pitcher since July 12, 2014 when Kyle Lloyd had 13 strikeouts.
Lefty Ben Sheckler followed with 2 1/3 scoreless innings (five strikeouts), while Mark Zimmerman (S, 1) worked a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout.
Friday, April 7th vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods at Bowling Green Ballpark (7:35 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Logan Allen
– Hot Rods Probable Starter: LHP Brock Burke
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