News release from the TinCaps:
TinCaps win 2016 Parkview Field opener
(April 9, 2016) – The TinCaps won their 2016 home opener at Parkview Field, 9-5, over the Lake County Captains on Saturday night. The victory also marked the team’s first win overall in three tries this season.
Despite the chilliest conditions ever for a Parkview Field opener (the first pitch temperature was 36Â°), the Fort Wayne faithful still supported their team with a crowd of 5,844.
For fans brave enough to take their gloved-hands out of their pockets, left-handed power hitters Austin Allen and Brad Zunica gave them something to clap about with a home run apiece and five combined hits.
Just like the last two nights in Lake County, the Captains got on the board first with a run in the top of the first inning. Unlike the previous two nights, however, the TinCaps didn’t wait until the later innings to rally. Center fielder Michael Gettys tied the game in the home first with a sacrifice fly to plate left fielder Rod Boykin, who led the frame off with a single, stole second base, and dashed to third on a wild pitch.
Lake County (2-1) regained its lead in the top of the third inning, 2-1, but again Fort Wayne had an answer, and then some. Allen tied the game with an RBI double to right-center field. Following a walk drawn by third baseman Ty France, Zunica crushed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to make it 5-2 in favor of the home team.
The TinCaps tacked on two more in the fourth as designated hitter River Stevens came across on a double steal with Boykin. Later in the inning, shortstop Ruddy Giron whacked an RBI double to bring in Boykin, who’d been hit by a pitch. That extended Fort Wayne’s lead to 7-2. The advantage ballooned to 8-2 in the sixth when Stevens doubled, moved to third on a Peter Van Gansen groundout, and scored on an errant snap throw by Captains catcher Francisco Mejia.
Although Lake County put up two in the seventh and one in the ninth, Allen did his part to keep the visitors at bay with a solo shot to right in the seventh.
The TinCaps flexed muscle with five extra-base hits, while also flashing speed with five stolen bases.
Fort Wayne (1-2) starter Brett Kennedy went the first 3 innings with only one earned run allowed. Elliot Ashbeck (W, 1-0) followed with three scoreless innings to factor into the decision. Captains starter Sam Hentges (L, 0-1) took the decision on the other side with four innings of work.
The TinCaps will go for a split of the four-game home-and-home series at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne is set to start right-hander Jake Nix against Lake County righty Matt Esparza. The game can be seen on Comcast Network 81 and heard on ESPN Radio 1380 and 100.9 FM, as well as TinCapsRadio.com and the TuneIn Radio app.