LANSING, Mich. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps hit seven home runs in a doubleheader sweep over the Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland Athletics affiliate) on Saturday night at Jackson Field. A two-home run game from Joshua Mears led the ’Caps to a win, 13-9, in the first game. Then two home runs from Robert Hassell III led Fort Wayne to its second victory, 6-2.
Mears hit two towering blasts in the opener. In the third inning, his homer caromed off the scoreboard. Mears also hit the video board in Day Air Ballpark in Dayton this year on April 10. The outfielder’s second home run, which came in the sixth, was estimated to have traveled 504 feet to left-center field. For context, since MLB began recording homer distances in 2015, only one homer has been hit further (Nomar Mazara of the Rangers blasted a 505-foot homer in 2019).
The ’Caps hit a third home run late in game one. With Fort Wayne leading 11-7 in the top of the seventh, first baseman Olivier Basabe cranked his first home run of the year down the left-field line. On top of the homers, the TinCaps also recorded four doubles in the first matchup: two from Jarryd Dale, one from Justin Lopez, and one from Angel Solarte.
In game two, the ’Caps continued to bolster their Midwest League-leading home run total. On the first at-bat of the game, Corey Rosier clubbed a ball over the right-field wall for his first home run as a TinCap.
Two innings later, Hassell launched a towering fly ball off the railing above the left-field fence for his first home run of the night, and third of the season. Hassell came back up in the fifth and pulled a chest-high fastball, the first pitch he saw, over the right-field wall on a line.
In between, Ripken Reyes lofted a ball over the foul pole in right for his second home run of the season in the fourth.
On the mound, Noel Vela showed great poise in the first inning. With one run in, no one out, and the bases loaded, Vela struck out a pair and induced a fly ball to keep the score tied, 1-1, after an inning. The southpaw went on to pitch 3 1/3 innings with that lone earned run and six strikeouts.
Alek Jacob delivered 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to maintain the lead he inherited in the fourth inning. Ryan Och entered in the seventh inning and held the Lugnuts without a hit to close out the doubleheader sweep.
Next Game: Saturday, April 24 @ Lansing (1:05 p.m.)
- Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Adam Smith
- Lansing Probable Starter: RHP Osvaldo Berrios