TinCaps prevail, set record in 16-inning win

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News release from the TinCaps:

TinCaps Prevail, Set Record in 16-Inning Win

(August 22, 2013) – In their longest game of the season — both by innings and time elapsed — the TinCaps beat the South Bend Silver Hawks, 7-6, in a 16-inning marathon at Parkview Field that began Wednesday night and ended Thursday morning at 12:08 a.m. Climaxing the drama, Reynaldo Bruguera lined a base hit to center field to score Tyler Stubblefield for the game-winning run. Along the way, six Fort Wayne pitchers teamed up to set a franchise record for strikeouts in a game with 20.

The TinCaps set the stage for their 10th walk-off and 26th comeback victory of the year by loading the bases in the bottom of the 16th with Silver Hawks shortstop Pedro Ruiz on the mound. Ruiz (0-1) was pitching for the first time in his Minor League Baseball career. He walked Luis Tejada to lead the inning off. Tyler Stubblefield then reached base on an infield single, followed by a Miguel Del Castillo bunt attempt that Ruiz misplayed for an error to load the bases. After Mallex Smith grounded into a fielder’s choice grounder to second base that resulted in Tejada being forced out at the plate, Bruguera came through with his third hit of the night for the win.

Bruguera also played a role in a dramatic TinCaps comeback in the bottom of the 15th inning, when Fort Wayne rallied from two runs down. Neither side scored from the seventh inning through the 14th, until South Bend (33-24, 77-51) put up two runs in the top of the 15th. With two outs and the bases loaded, the Silver Hawks’ number nine hitter, Andrew Velazquez, blooped a single to shallow-left field to bring home two runs off Matt Chabot. The damage could have been worse, though. Earlier in the inning, Rudy Flores was thrown out at the plate, as left fielder Luis Domoromo threw to the shortstop Tyler Stubblefield, who bulleted the ball to catcher Del Castillo for the tag.

But in the bottom of the 15th, down 6-4, Smith led off against Tyler Green with a bunt single. He then scored on a double down the left-field line by Bruguera as Fort Wayne (23-35, 66-61) cut its deficit to one run. Alberth Martinez advanced Bruguera to third base with a sacrifice bunt. Bruguera later scored on a strike three-wild pitch to Gabriel Quintana to tie the game, 6-6.

The lead bounced back-and-forth early. The Silver Hawks held leads of 1-0 and 4-2. Mike Lang homered, Brandon Drury doubled home two runs, and Breland Almadova had an RBI single. For the TinCaps, who led 2-1 and then tied the game at four in the sixth, Maxx Tissenbaum plated two with a single and Tejada added a run-scoring hit. Their fourth run was unearned without an RBI.

Fort Wayne starter Bryan Rodriguez struck out a season-high seven batters in five innings. Following Rodriguez, Ruben Mejia fanned five in three frames, Roman Madrid K-ed two in the ninth inning, Jorge Guzman got three to go down swinging in three innings, and Trevor Gott retired two on strikes in two innings. Finally, Chabot (6-1) earned the franchise record-setting 20th strikeout in the top of the 16th. The 20 strikeouts broke the previous mark of 19 established on August 11, 2000 against West Michigan.

The game was Fort Wayne’s longest since a 4 hour, 53 minute affair on April 30, 2004 versus Wisconsin. However, it didn’t top the longest game in franchise history, which was played on April 7, 1995 — an 18-inning contest that lasted 5 hours, 13 minutes.

The TinCaps and Silver Hawks meet again at Parkview Field on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Fort Wayne starts Joe Ross against South Bend’s Jesse Darrah in a tangle of right-handers. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.

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