The Fort Wayne TinCaps secured a victory in the final game of the first half of the regular season in style, walking off winners on Father’s Day in the bottom of the ninth inning via a Tucupita Marcano RBI single to beat the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians affiliate), 4-3. The victory was the 227th in the Fort Wayne managerial career of Anthony Contreras, tying him for the most wins by a manager in franchise history.
The TinCaps (33-35) roared in front in the first thanks to a three-run home run by Agustin Ruiz that traveled 402 feet in the air as it sailed over the right-center field fence. Ruiz has two home runs in the last three games and three dingers in his last eight games.
Gabe Mosser was his usual razor-sharp self in a shortened start, throwing four scoreless innings with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed (one walk). The 23-year-old has issued only eight walks as opposed to 71 strikeouts in 12 starts this season. Mosser is averaging nearly seven strikeouts per start (6.9) in his last seven outings.
After that, the bullpen was stellar in the next four innings. Four TinCaps relievers (Cody Tyler, Carlos Belen, Henry Henry, and Jose Quezada) combined to each pitch scoreless innings with just one total hit allowed. The bullpen racked up six strikeouts and just one walk in those four scoreless frames.
Down to their last three outs, the Captains (40-29) surged back with three runs to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Henry Pujols brought home the first run on an RBI triple and came home to score on a fielding error that advanced the batter, Quentin Holmes, all the way to third base. Holmes promptly came home to tie the game on sacrifice fly.
On this Sunday, the ‘Caps wouldn’t be denied. Fort Wayne loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and then Marcano looped a single down the left-field line to score Luis Roman and earn the TinCaps the win. It was Marcano’s second walk-off hit at Parkview Field this season – he also had a game-winning single against South Bend on May 23.
Contreras has tied Doug Dascenzo for the franchise record for wins as manager. Dascenzo also won 227 games as the skipper from 2007-09. The franchise was founded in 1993.
While the team isn’t in action again until Thursday, infielder Xavier Edwards and pitchers Ryan Weathers and Henry Henry will represent the TinCaps at the Midwest League All-Star game on Tuesday night in South Bend.
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