FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Jacob Watters and Joelvis Del Rosario combined to twirl nine scoreless innings, but Joshua Mears lined an RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Fort Wayne TinCaps (18-25) a 1-0 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts (20-23) on Friday night at Parkview
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Jacob Watters and Joelvis Del Rosario combined to twirl nine scoreless innings, but Joshua Mears lined an RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Fort Wayne TinCaps (18-25) a 1-0 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts (20-23) on Friday night at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps have won three straight games after the Nuts took the series opener.
The game began with high expectations, matching up former West Virginia teammates and current top prospects Watters and Fort Wayne’s Ryan Bergert. Their duel did not disappoint; Watters held the TinCaps to one hit and three walks in 5 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out four, while Bergert fired seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out eight.
Lansing right-hander Del Rosario and Fort Wayne reliever Keegan Collett took the baton from there, with Del Rosario blanking the TinCaps over 3 1/3 innings, striking out three, and Collett tossing the eighth and ninth innings without issue, fanning five.
In the top of the 10th, Brayan Buelvas drew a two-out walk from Chris Lincoln to give the Lugnuts runners at the corners, but Euribiel Ángeles grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Tyler Baum opened the bottom of the tenth with an intentional walk of Lucas Dunn, setting up a force play at second and third. The strategy immediately paid off, with first baseman Jack Winkler grabbing Kervín Pichardo’s sacrifice attempt and firing to shortstop Max Muncy to step on third and force out the lead runner.
But Mears followed with a line drive into the right-center gap that right fielder Jonny Butler was unable to snare with a headlong dive, giving the hosts the game’s only run.
The 10-inning game was played in two hours and 14 minutes.
Lansing right-hander Jack Perkins, a native of Kokomo, Indiana, will get the ball on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. in the penultimate game of the series. Fort Wayne counters with prospect right-hander Victor Lizarraga.
The Lugnuts’ trip to the Summit City runs through Sunday, with a homestand against the Cedar Rapids Kernels arriving next week, May 30-June 4. Tickets are available via lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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