The Fort Wayne TinCaps won their first game of the season last night, defeating the West Michigan Whitecaps 8-0.
The last game was played 610 days ago. It was the largest layoff that Minor League Baseball has had since its inception in 1902.
TinCaps Return to Field With Shutout Win
By Jack McMullen
Fort Wayne, Indiana (May 5, 2021) – For the first time in more than 600 days, the Fort Wayne TinCaps returned to action at Parkview Field on Tuesday night. Lights-out pitching and opportune hitting led the way for the TinCaps to take an Opening Day win over the West Michigan Whitecaps, 8-0. The margin marked the largest Opening Day shutout win in franchise history.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Ethan Elliott set the tone. In his TinCaps debut, Elliott pounded the strike zone, amassing nine strikeouts in four innings. Right-hander Felix Minjarez followed, firing two innings of shutout baseball. The tandem of relievers Austin Smith and Cody Tyler finished the job in the final three innings, and the staff totaled 16 punch-outs and just two walks.
Offensively, the runs came as a result of 11 walks drawn and timely hits. After a throwing error from West Michigan second baseman Andre Lipcius plated the first two TinCap runs in the second, shortstop Justin Lopez lined a ball into the seats in right-center field for a three-run home run in the third. The ball left Lopez’s bat at over 100mph, and traveled just shy of 400 feet.
The remainder of the runs came on one swing in the seventh, from Fort Wayne third baseman Kelvin Melean. A looping triple into right field with the bases loaded plated three runs.
Last year’s No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick, third baseman Spencer Torkelson, made his Minor League Baseball debut with the Whitecaps. The slugger went 0-for-3, drawing a walk and striking out three times. West Michigan starter Keider Montero was chased from the game after just 2 2/3 innings, walking four TinCaps and allowing 5 earned runs.
Next Game: Wednesday, May 5 (7:05 p.m.) vs. West Michigan
TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Matt Waldron
Whitecaps Probable Starter: RHP Hugh Smith
Watch: Comcast Network 81 & MiLB.TV
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