Parkview Field crowd celebrates America, attendance record

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News release from the TinCaps:

Parkview Field Crowd Celebrates America, Attendance Record

(July 4, 2014) – A record-setting crowd came to Parkview Field on Friday night to celebrate America’s birthday. They also hoped to celebrate a TinCaps win, but that wasn’t in the cards. The West Michigan Whitecaps beat Fort Wayne, 3-1, in front of 9,182 fans in Downtown Fort Wayne.

The crowd eclipsed the previous record set only eight days ago when 9,015 saw the TinCaps play Dayton on June 26.
“It’s awesome to have that kind of crowd support,” first-year TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. “It made for a great atmosphere. Hopefully next time we can give them a win.”

Fort Wayne’s loss was certainly no fault of the fans. Instead, West Michigan pitching was largely the reason. Starter Buck Farmer shut the TinCaps out for six innings. The right-hander out of Georgia Tech limited Fort Wayne to five singles and no walks, while striking out four. Farmer then gave way to Major League rehabber Ian Krol. The Detroit Tiger reliever retired the TinCaps in order on 11 pitches in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Fort Wayne’s pitching was solid, but not as spectacular. Yimmi Brasoban — pitching for the TinCaps for the first time since April 23 after he struggled and was transferred to Short-Season Eugene before returning Friday — allowed three runs in five innings. That dropped his Midwest League ERA from 14.29 to 11.57.

Brasoban yielded to a two-out, RBI single to Wynton Bernard in the top of the first inning to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Then in the second, Willy Adames tripled and scored on a groundout by Jeff Holm to make it 2-0. West Michigan earned its final run in the top of the fifth when Javier Betancourt tripled to drive in Holm, who had walked.

Following Brasoban’s five innings, Josh Richardson tossed three scoreless innings of relief for the second time in four days. Nick Mutz worked a run-free ninth.

“Our pitching and defense was outstanding,” Collins said. His team turned three double plays and catcher Ryan Miller threw out three runners attempting to steal second base. “We just couldn’t get the offense going.”

That has not typically been the case for the TinCaps in 2014. Fort Wayne entered the night leading the 16-team Midwest League in runs scored. But the only run the TinCaps mustered on the Fourth didn’t come until the eighth. With two outs in that frame, Dustin Peterson doubled to right-center field off Joe Mantiply to plate Josh VanMeter, who had singled. Peterons’ RBI was his 67th of the season, which leads the league.

“Fort Wayne is a great sports town,” said VanMeter, who’s from nearby Ossian, Ind. “This place got loud and energized when Petey hit that double. I had never played in front of a crowd this big before.”

The home side couldn’t sustain the momentum after Peterson’s double, however. Jake Bauers walked, putting the tying run on base. But Mantiply recovered to induce an inning-ending groundout by Franmil Reyes. The left-hander set Fort Wayne aside in order in the ninth to notch his seventh save of the season.

The TinCaps, who have lost seven consecutive games, aim to get back in the win column Saturday night at Parkview Field for the middle game of their set with the Whitecaps. Cody Hebner is scheduled to start for Fort Wayne against West Michigan’s Austin Kubitza. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380 and and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.

Largest Crowds in Parkview Field History for a TinCaps Game

  1. 9,182 (Friday, July 4, 2014)
  2. 9,015 (Thursday, June 26, 2014)
  3. 8,780 (Thursday, July 4, 2013)
  4. 8,643 (Thursday, June 20, 2013)
  5. 8,577 (Thursday, April 5, 2012)

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