Zunica hits monster HR, TinCaps Bats Erupt in Win Over South Bend

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps used a six-run fifth inning to take the final game of a four-game series against the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs), 8-5, at Parkview Field on Sunday afternoon.

Fort Wayne (9-15) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. With center fielder Jack Suwinski at third base, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a sacrifice fly out to right field that scored Suwinski to put the TinCaps up, 1-0.

South Bend (14-10) scored in the top of the second inning. With one out, Kevonte Mitchell homered off The Harrison past the left-field fence to tie the game, 1-1.

The Cubs took the lead in the fifth inning. Both Zack Short and Yeiler Peguero knocked in a run a piece with singles to give South Bend a 3-1 advantage.

The TinCaps, broke the game open in the fifth inning. Right fielder Alan Garcia singled to begin the inning. Garcia moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Rod Boykin. A Suwinski single put runners on the corners with one out. Second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza then grounded into a fielder’s choice. On the play, Suwinski was out at second, but Ilarraza was safe at first, and Garcia scored to cut South Bend’s lead to one, 3-2. Taits Jr. then singled. Ilarraza made it to third base on the hit, and Tatis Jr. advanced to second base on a throw to third. First baseman G.K. Young followed with a single to center field, scoring Ilarraza and Tatis Jr. to give Fort Wayne the lead back, 4-3. Third baseman Eguy Rosario tripled to score Young from first and put the TinCaps ahead 5-3. Designated hitter Brad Zunica then crushed a ball over the wall in right-center field for a two-run home run, giving Fort Wayne a 7-3 edge.

South Bend scored two unearned runs in the seventh inning thanks to three straight Fort Wayne errors. The runs cut the TinCaps’ lead to two, 7-5.

Fort Wayne responded with a run in the eighth inning. Catcher Webster Rivas led off the inning by hitting his first home run of the season to move the TinCaps’ advantage to 8-5.

Fort Wayne starting pitcher Hansel Rodriguez (W) struck out five batters in five innings of work. TinCaps relievers Blake Rogers, Ben Sheckler, and David Bednar (S) didn’t allow an earned run and only allowed a combined one hit in four innings pitched.

South Bend starting pitcher Manuel Rondon (L) came one out away from working through five innings, but he couldn’t get that final out in the fifth and allowed five earned runs.

Next Game

Tuesday, May 1 at Quad Cities (7:35 p.m.)

-TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Jesse Scholtens

-River Bandits Probable Starter: TBA