FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps triumphed, 5-4, over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) on Tuesday night at Parkview Field. First basemen Matthew Acosta powered the ‘Caps to victory with a pair of extra-base hits, including a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning in his High-A debut.
When Acosta stepped to the plate in the sixth, the score was tied 3-3. The first basemen reached low and inside and golfed a ball to right field. The ball hung up long enough that Acosta had to trot halfway up the line before he felt comfortable tossing the bat and taking his first ever home run trot in Fort Wayne.
Acosta’s solid day started in the fourth with the TinCaps trailing, 3-1. The left-handed hitter pulled a ball down the right-field line for a double. Two batters later, Ripken Reyes knocked in Acosta with a two-out triple to center field that glanced off the glove of a diving Ben Malgeri. Acosta picked up a third hit on a slow roller to third base in the seventh to finish 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Reyes had three hits himself, including another extra-base knock in the eighth. Though Acosta and Reyes starred, Angel Solarte took his turn in the limelight with an RBI single in seventh that gave Fort Wayne its fifth run, the eventual winner.
Jarryd Dale started the scoring for the TinCaps in the first inning. After a leadoff single and a pair of stolen bases from Corey Rosier, Dale beat out a high chopper to third base for an infield single and an RBI. Whitecaps starter Ty Madden then worked his way out of trouble. The 2021 32nd overall pick stranded two TinCaps runners with a pair of fly balls and a strikeout. Dale finished the day with two hits and two walks, along with an RBI and a run scored.
West Michigan struck back in the top of the second with three hits and two runs. Both Whitecaps scored on a moonshot to right field off the bat of Wenceel Perez accompanied by pinwheeling wood in the aftermath of the home run. Another homer an inning later doubled the Whitecaps advantage and made it 3-1.
A turning point came for Fort Wayne when reliever Nick Thwaits entered the game with two runners on and only one out in the fifth. The right-hander stranded those runners with a pair of strikeouts on breaking pitches to keep the game at 3-2 going to the bottom half of the inning.
Fort Wayne tied it up in the fifth with a charge coming from the top of the order. Robert Hassell III walked to lead off the inning, his second walk earned of the game. Dale collected his second hit of the night on a hard ground ball up the middle and pushed Hassell to third. Brandon Valenzuela scored the run with a groundball to the right side that was converted into a double play by West Michigan. The TinCaps and Whitecaps were tied at three after five innings.
The Acosta homer and Solarte single were enough for Luke Boyd, who notched the save with a flyball to Rosier in left ending it.
Next Game: Wednesday, May 18 vs. West Michigan Whitecaps (6:35 p.m.)
- Fort Wayne Probable Starter: LHP Jackson Wolf
- West Michigan Probable Starter: RHP Keider Montero
Watch: Comcast Network 81 & MiLB.TV
Listen: 1380 The Fan & 100.9 FM / TinCapsRadio.com