Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the TinCaps rallied to force extra innings and went on to beat the Kane County Cougars, 6-5, on Friday night at Parkview Field. Stephen Carmon was the hero in Fort Wayne’s first walk-off win in 2013, as he lined a 10th-inning single to center field to score Mallex Smith. With the win, the TinCaps extended their home winning streak to six games.
Alberth Martinez led the home ninth inning off with an infield single against Kane County left-hander Nathan Dorris. Smith followed with a walk. Maxx Tissenbaum then hit a groundball to the right side of the infield that was misplayed by Cougars first baseman Dan Vogelbach to loaded the bases for the TinCaps with no outs.
Diego Goris singled to right field to score Martinez and cut Fort Wayne’s deficit to 5-2. Gabriel Quintana doubled to right, plating Smith and Tissenbaum to make it 5-4, and moving Goris to third base in the process. After a Corey Adamson groundout and Brian Adams fielder’s choice to shortstop failed to produce the tying run, Luis Tejada came through in the clutch against Eddie Orozco, who had entered in relief to face Adams.
Tejada, a 20-year old first baseman, lined a single to center field to score Quintana and tie the game, 5-5. The inning came to an end on Tejada’s hit, however, as Adams, was thrown out attempting to go from first to third by center fielder Oliver Zapata.
Fort Wayne’s closer, Roman Madrid, entered for the non-save situation in the tenth inning with the game tied, 5-5. Despite allowing a one-out single to Bijan Rademacher, who then stole second base, Madrid struck out the side.
In the game’s decisive final frame, Rodney Daal led off with a single to left. Daal was eliminated from the bases, though, when Martinez flew out to deep right-center field. The right fielder Rademacher made the catch on the run and then doubled-up Daal, who had anticipated the ball to drop and ran past second base, unable to get back to first base safely. However, Smith kept the inning alive with a four-pitch walk and then stole second base. Tissenbaum proceeded to draw a five-pitch walk, setting the stage for Carmon’s heroics. The 5’7″ South Carolina-Aiken alum fell behind in the count, 0-2, before serving a single to center which scored Smith from second base with the game-winning run.
Kane County (7-11) built a 3-0 lead against Fort Wayne starter Max Fried, as they scored single runs in the first inning, second, and fourth inning. Fried, 19, became the first TinCaps pitcher of the season to finish six innings. He left the game after allowing the three earned runs on six hits, two walks, and one hit batsman. Fried also struck out four. The Cougars tacked on two more runs agaisnt reliever Matthew Shepherd in the ninth.
Offensively, Fort Wayne (12-8), didn’t do much to help Fried’s cause while Kane County starter Pierce Johnson was in the game. Johnson surrendered only one unearned run in five-and-two-thirds innings of work.
The TinCaps’ lone run prior to the ninth came in the fifth inning and was unearned. With runners at first and second, Quintana hit a two-out single to the hole at shortstop that Marco Hernandez threw wildly to first, enabling Martinez to score and bringing Fort Wayne with two, 3-1.
The TinCaps and Cougars conclude their three-game series at Parkview Field on Saturday evening at 5:05.
Defiance, OH native Justin Hancock is set to pitch for Fort Wayne against Kane County’s Tayler Scott in a matchup of right-handers.