FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The TinCaps hit three home runs and outhit the Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) on Saturday night, but Lansing beat Fort Wayne, 9-8. TinCaps designated hitter G.K. Young homered, tripled, and doubled in the game while scoring three runs and picking up two RBIs. A crowd of 7,848 packed Parkview Field for the 14th sellout this season in Fort Wayne.
Entering the ninth inning, the TinCaps led, 8-6. With the bases loaded for Lansing and one out in the top of the ninth, Nash Knight grounded out to short, allowing Nick Sinay to score to cut the Fort Wayne advantage to 8-7 while moving the other runners to second and third base. Ridge Smith followed with an infield single up the middle that scored the tying and eventual-game winning runs, putting the Lugnuts up for good, 9-8.
Fort Wayne (10-7, 36-51) scored first in the bottom of the second inning. With catcher Marcus Greene Jr. on first base, Young doubled to right-center field to score Greene for a 1-0 TinCaps lead. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza singled to score Young and right fielder Jack Suwinski to put Fort Wayne up 3-0.
Lansing (6-11, 43-40) stormed back in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Edward Olivares hit a grand slam to give the Lugnuts a 4-3 lead. Three batters later, Yeltsin Gudiño singled to score Knight and make it 5-3 with Lansing in front.
The TinCaps responded strongly in the bottom of the third. Both first baseman Brad Zunica and Young hit solo home runs to tie the game, 5-5. Zunica’s homer was his team-leading 15th this season. Young’s home run was his seventh this year.
Fort Wayne added to its lead in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. In the fifth, Suwinski followed a Young triple with a groundout that scored Young to give the TinCaps a 6-5 lead. In the sixth, center fielder Rod Boykin hit a solo home run to make it 7-5. Then in the seventh, with Greene at second base and two outs, second baseman Nate Easley single to center field to score Greene for an 8-5 Fort Wayne advantage.
The Lugnuts started their comeback in the top of the eighth inning. An Andres Sotillo single scored Olivares from second base to cut the TinCaps lead to 8-6 before Lansing scored the three runs in the ninth en route to the 9-8 win.
Lugnuts reliever Juliandry Higuera pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his second win this season. The left-hander struck out five batters in the game.
TinCaps relief pitcher Blake Rogers (L) ran into some tough luck in his 1 1/3 innings pitched. Rogers allowed three runs on two hits with a walk.