The TinCaps fell to the Kane County Cougars, 5-3, on Saturday evening at Parkview Field. The visitors broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth inning with three runs. Fort Wayne rallied for one in the eighth, but couldn’t pull off its second consecutive comeback win. The loss snaps the TinCaps six-game home winning streak.
Fort Wayne (12-9) starter Justin Hancock went the first six innings for the TinCaps. The right-hander from Defiance, OH became only the second Fort Wayne starter to do so for the TinCaps in 2013 after Max Fried also pitched six innings on Friday. Hancock exited the game having allowed three hits, two walks, and two runs, though, only one was earned. Hancock struck out three, as he upped his season total to 17 in four starts.
The TinCaps scored two times in the first inning with two outs. First, Diego Goris drew a walk. Then cleanup batter Dane Phillips hit an opposite-field double off the wall in left field to drive in Goris for the game’s first run. Jeremy Baltz followed with a bloop single to right that plated Phillips and put Fort Wayne ahead 2-0.
Kane County (8-11) got one run back in the third, as Gioscar Aamaya hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Oliver Zapata, who reached base on a walk. The Cougars later tied the game, 2-2, in the fifth, thanks to two defensive blunders by the TinCaps. The visitors loaded the bases with a single and errors by Stephen Carmon and Hancock. Hancock, however, limited the damage by getting three consecutive groundball outs. Willson Contreras’ groundout plated Zapata.
The score remained tied until the eighth. Starter-turned-reliever Erik Cabrera pitched a scoreless seventh for Fort Wayne, but ran into trouble in his second inning of work. Cabrera gave up a single and two walks, putting himself in bases-loaded bind. With one out and Bijan Rademacher batting, the right-hander threw a wild pitch that enabled Gioskar Amaya to score the go-ahead run. Rademacher proceeded to single home Jeimer Candelario, making it 4-2 Kane County. Leonel Campos replaced Cabrera on the mound after that, but the first batter he faced, Wes Darvill, brought home Rock Shoulders with a single to advance the Cougars’ lead to 5-2.
The TinCaps began to rally in the ensuing frame, though, it wasn’t enough. Maxx Tissenbaum led off with a double deep to right. A Goris grounder advanced Tissenbaum to third. Phillips followed with a grounder to second base that was good enough to drive home Tissenbaum and bring Fort Wayne within a pair, 5-3. However, reliever Brian Smith, who earned the win with three innings out of the bullpen, eluded further trouble for the Cougars.
The TinCaps and Clinton LumberKings will begin a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 at Parkview Field. The starting pitchers are scheduled to be Zach Elfin (0-2, 7.94) for the TinCaps and Dylan Unsworth (2-0, 3.60) for Clinton.