For the second night in a row, TinCaps outfielder Jack Suwinski reached base three times, but the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) prevailed, 5-4, on Friday night at Parkview Field in front of a crowd of 8,082. Friday’s attendance marked the 18th sellout of the season. The game also marked the last regular season home game of the year for Fort Wayne.
Despite the setback, the TinCaps (31-35, 63-72) remain tied with the West Michigan Whitecaps for the Midwest League Eastern Division’s second half wild card. Fort Wayne and West Michigan are set to play a three-game series to end the regular season, Saturday through Monday, in Comstock Park. The three-game series essentially will serve as a best-of-three matchup, with the winner earning a playoff spot. The TinCaps need to win at least two to advance to the MWL Playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Click for the latest MWL Standings.
Lake County (28-38, 57-79) jumped out to a lead in the top of the first inning on Friday. Jonathan Laureano doubled down the left-field line to score Todd Isaacs from first to give the Captains a 1-0 lead. Later, Elvis Perez hit a two-run single to score Laureano and Jose Vicente to send Lake County in front, 3-0.
After the Captains added another in the second, Fort Wayne cut the deficit down in the bottom of the third. Suwinski laced a triple down the right-field line to plate second baseman Kelvin Melean and center fielder Jeisson Rosario to pull within two. During the next at-bat, Suwinski raced home on a passed ball to cut the Lake County lead down to 4-3.
In the top of the sixth, the Captains added to their lead. Will Benson hammered his 20th home run to right field to give Lake County a 5-3 edge.
The TinCaps rallied in the bottom of the ninth, but the comeback came up short. Newcomer Agustin Ruiz, an 18-year-old from Mexico in his debut with the team, doubled and first baseman Jalen Washington singled to put runners at the corners with no one out, but Fort Wayne grounded into a double play. Ruiz scored on the groundout to cut the Captains lead down to 5-4, but the next batter grounded out to end the game.
In the loss, Suwinski stayed red hot going 3-for-4 with a triple, a run scored, and two RBIs. In the month of August, Suwinski finished slashing .383/.443/.626 with five doubles, three triples, five home runs, and 25 RBIs.
Saturday, Sep. 1 @ West Michigan Whitecaps (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Henry Henry
– Whitecaps Probable Starter: RHP Chance Kirby
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