FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps fell to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate), 1-0, on Saturday evening at Parkview Field in front of a sell-out crowd of 7,651 fans. Fort Wayne displayed strong defense and pitching all night despite the loss.

The defense shined in the top of the first inning after a lead-off walk. With West Michigan’s Corey Joyce on second base and one out, Ripken Reyes slid to grab sinking liner behind the bag and then extended his glove backward while lying on his back to tag the second base bag and double off Joyce.

In the top of the second, the TinCaps were again in a jam. The Whitecaps loaded the bases with no one out in a 0-0 game. Starter Robert Gasser recorded the first out of the inning with an outside fastball that Ben Malgeri swung through for a strikeout. Then, Gasser forced a groundball from Trei Cruz that shortstop TinCaps Jarryd Dale converted into an inning-ending double play. Despite four baserunners in two innings, the game remained tied headed to the third.

Reyes’ glove shined again in the fourth inning. With a runner in scoring position and two outs, the second basemen ranged to his right – behind second base – and speared a hot-shot one-hopper off the bat of Malgeri. Reyes turned and fired to first on a bounce, requiring a smooth scoop from first basemen Matt Acosta.

The strong defense by Fort Wayne assisted Gasser in another strong day from the lefty. Gasser pitched six innings and allowed just two hits and one run while striking out six. One of the southpaw’s lone mistakes, however, was a 3-0 fastball that Whitecaps right fielder Jake Holton roped over the wall in left-center field. Holton’s home run made the score 1-0 in fourth. Gasser bounced back, though, retiring nine of the next ten batters. The Houston alum ended his start on a pair of back-ankle sliders that struck out Holton and Wenceel Perez.

Fort Wayne’s Ramon Perez entered in the seventh inning to keep the game within one. After stints in Fort Wayne in 2019 (Single-A) and 2021 (High-A), Perez made his 2022 TinCaps debut and pitched a scoreless inning. Nick Thwaits relieved after him and dealt in two scoreless innings, striking out three. The Whitecaps closed the door on a comeback in the ninth, however, with Elvis Alvarado picking up a two-out save.

The TinCaps wore special jerseys to commemorate the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The jerseys are being auctioned off online at this link. All proceeds are benefiting a fundraiser to improve a monument for the Daisies at Fort Wayne’s Memorial Park, where the team once played. The auction will continue through 9 p.m. Sunday. 

Before the game, five AAGPBL alumni were honored on the field, while the family members of other former players were also recognized. The alumni on hand signed autographs and took photos with fans during the game, too. 
Next Game: Sunday, May 22 vs. West Michigan Whitecaps (1:05 p.m.)

  • Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Ryan Bergert
  • West Michigan Probable Starter: RHP Ty Madden (No. 6 Tigers prospect)