Press release from the TinCaps:
TinCaps Stun Silver Hawks, 5-4, Advance to Round 2
Figueroa’s two-out, two-run double puts Fort Wayne ahead in 8th
The Fort Wayne TinCaps were down to their final four outs and trailing Friday at Parkview Field, but Cole Figueroa’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the 8th put Fort Wayne ahead as the TinCaps upended the South Bend Silver Hawks, 5-4, to advance to the second round of the Midwest League playoffs. RHP Nick Schumacher delivered three crucial scoreless innings in relief as the TinCaps advanced to play the Great Lakes Loons in a best-of-three series beginning Saturday in Midland, Mich.
South Bend’s Justin Parker launched a home run in the 2nd inning to put the Silver Hawks ahead, 1-0. A 3rd-inning sacrifice fly by Reynaldo Navarro made it 2-0.
The TinCaps were held scoreless through four innings by South Bend RHP Ryan Cook. They finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th on a leadoff home run by Allan Dykstra which cut the deficit to 2-1.
South Bend bounced back in the top of the 6th as A.J. Pollock and Reynaldo Navarro hit back-to-back doubles to make it 3-1. Alfredo Marte followed with an RBI single to left to push the deficit to 4-1. RHP Chris Fetter was replaced by Schumacher, who came in to shut down the Silver
Hawks through the 8th inning.
Fort Wayne scored a run in the 6th on an RBI single by Jaff Decker, then made its move in the 8th. Kevin Hansen belted a triple high off the left-field wall. Daniel Robertson walked and Decker drew back-to-back two-out walks to load the bases. An opposite-field single by Vince Belnome made it a 4-3 game. Then, Figueroa lined an 0-1 pitch down the left-field line to plate Robertson and Decker and give Fort Wayne a 5-4 lead.
In the 9th, RHP Brad Brach allowed a one-out single, but slammed the door for his second save of the series and his 35th of the season.
Schumacher (7-0) notched the win in relief. South Bend RHP Victor Capellan (0-3) took the loss, allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
The TinCaps are 96-47 for the season. South Bend finished its season at 60-80 overall.
Fort Wayne and the Great Lakes Loons (Class-A Los Angeles Dodgers) play Game 1 of the Eastern Division Championship Series, Saturday at 7:05pm at Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich. The Loons won a 3-2, 10-inning classic on the road Friday against the West Michigan Whitecaps to advance to Round 2. Starting pitchers for Saturday’s game are to be determined. Games 2 and 3 are set for Parkview Field on Sunday (5:05pm) and Monday (7:05pm), if necessary. The winner of that series advances to the Midwest League Championship Series.