In the opening match of a four-game series between the TinCaps and the Lake County Captains, Fort Wayne proved its resolve to win a one-run game, edging the Captains by a 4-3 final Friday night. Shortstop Stephen Carmon provided the necessary late-game boost for the TinCaps, driving home two runs in the seventh inning, securing the lead for good.
Fort Wayne (24-15) starter Zach Eflin endured a rocky first inning, giving up a two-run single to Lake County (13-25) catcher Jeremy Lucas. The rest of the outing, however, was smooth for the 19-year-old Eflin, who fanned a career-best six batters in five innings of work. Eflin surrendered five hits during his outing, also walking two batters.
The TinCaps closed the two-run deficit over the next two innings, getting run-scoring groundouts from Brian Adams in the second, and Jeremy Baltz in the third. The game remained tied at two through the middle innings, with neither team scoring in the fourth, fifth or sixth frames.
The deadlock was broken in the seventh with Carmon’s two-run double, which was preceded by a leadoff double by Luis Tejada and a subsequent walk issued to Corey Adamson. Carmon was the last batter faced by Captains starter Luis DeJesus (0-4), who gave way to reliever Luis Morel.
The TinCaps bullpen took over after Eflin’s outing, with Matthew Shepherd (3-0) tossing three innings and allowing one run, and Chris Nunn picking up his third save in as many tries. Shepherd’s outing was vital in aiding a taxed bullpen, that had four relievers work in Thursday’s 7-6 loss to Bowling Green.
The TinCaps continue the four-game series tomorrow night, when first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 at Classic Park. The scheduled starters are Ruben Mejia for Fort Wayne and Ryan Merritt for the Captains.