MIDLAND, Mich. – TinCaps starting pitcher Pedro Avila broke a 24-year-old Fort Wayne franchise record with 17 strikeouts on Tuesday night at Dow Diamond as the TinCaps swept the Great Lakes Loons with a 4-1 win in 10 innings. The 17 strikeouts broke the mark set by LaTroy Hawkins, who struck out 15 Cedar Rapids batters on June 25, 1993. The win also gave the TinCaps their first four-game sweep on the road since August 3-6, 2010 at Lansing.
Avila struck out 9 of the last 10 batters he faced as part of his record-setting performance. The 20-year-old Venezuelan retired the last 19 batters he faced, allowed just three hits and one run in eight innings pitched, and didn’t walk or hit anyone.
Fort Wayne (30-15, 56-59) used a three-run top of the 10th inning to win the game off Great Lakes reliever Evy Ruibal (L). With third baseman Hudson Potts at second base, right fielder Nate Easley laid down a sacrifice bunt that Great Lakes catcher Connor Wong threw errantly into left field allowing Easley to reach first base safely and Potts to score and give the TinCaps a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, left fielder Tyler Selesky walked to load the bases. It was the 14th time in the game that the TinCaps worked a walk—also a franchise record. The previous franchise record was 13 walks on May 29, 2000 at Lansing. With the bases loaded and nobody out, shortstop Fernando Taits Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Easley and put the TinCaps in front 3-1. Second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza then grounded a ball to Loons first baseman Nick Yarnall who misplayed the ball, allowing center fielder Jack Suwinski to score for a 4-1 Fort Wayne advantage.
TinCaps relief pitcher Evan Miller allowed just one hit in two innings of scoreless baseball to secure the victory.
Great Lakes (20-25, 56-58) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. With Gavin Lux at first base, Cody Thomas doubled to center field, scoring Lux to give the Loons a 1-0 lead.
Fort Wayne tied the game in the top of the third. With the bases loaded and two outs, catcher Marcus Greene Jr. worked a walk to bring home Selesky and knot the game up, 1-1.
Thursday, August 10 vs. Bowling Green (7:05 p.m.)
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