FORT WAYNE, Ind. – TinCaps shortstop Nerwilian Cedeño (No. 27 Padres prospect) smashed a walk-off, three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, capping a five-run frame, sending Fort Wayne to an epic win, 6-4, over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds affiliate) on Wednesday night at Parkview Field.
It was Fort Wayne’s first walk-off home run since Sept. 7, 2017, when Marcus Greene Jr. hit one to end the 2017 Midwest League East Division Semifinals against Bowling Green. The last TinCaps regular season walk-off homer was also hit by Greene, on Aug. 26, 2016 against West Michigan. This was also the fifth walk-off win of the season for the TinCaps, and the second hit by Cedeño, who also had the game-winner on the Fourth of July.
Dayton (24-20, 57-53) opened the scoring with left fielder Jack Rogers’ two-run bomb in the bottom of the first. Then in the third, third baseman Sal Stewart (No. 8 Reds prospect) added an RBI single, scoring shortstop Edwin Arroyo (No. 3 Reds prospect) after one of his two triples in the game.
Fort Wayne (24-20, 56-54) got on the board with center fielder Jakob Marsee’s (No. 12 Padres prospect) 355-foot solo blast in the bottom of the third. Marsee, the Midwest League Player of the Week, finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and a walk and is 18-for-31 (.581) over his last eight games.
The Dragons added a run in the top of the fifth when Stewart hit a sacrifice fly.
Things got wild in the last of the ninth. Second baseman Graham Pauley (No. 11 Padres prospect) ripped a leadoff double, but Dayton reliever Braxton Roxby retired the next two hitters. With two out, catcher Anthony Vilar reached on an error, allowing Pauley to score, making it 4-2. Third baseman Kervin Pichardo hit a single into right to extend the inning before Marsee walked, and then Cedeño launched his heroic homer the opposite way onto the Rohrman Automotive Group Home Run Porch.
Relief pitcher Cole Paplham made his High-A debut Wednesday, working the ninth inning. Paplham, 23, was promoted from Single-A Lake Elsinore on Tuesday. He’s been the primary closer for the Storm this season. Thanks to the walk-off win, Paplham is credited with the victory. Before that, Ethan Routzahn threw three scoreless innings of relief to keep the ‘Caps in the game.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Fort Wayne was just 1-41 when trailing after the eighth inning.
The ‘Caps are 1 1/2 games out of first in the Midwest League East Division second-half standings, trailing West Michigan (DET).
Next Game: Thursday, Aug. 17 vs. Dayton (7:05 p.m.)
- TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Henry Baez
- Dragons Probable Starter: RHP Hunter Parks