Comstock, Michigan (incnow.tv)- -- Fort Wayne scored six runs in the ninth inning in a win Wednesday, but Thursday in the ninth, the TinCaps stranded the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in a 4-3 loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps. Fort Wayne went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.
Catcher Dane Phillips put the TinCaps up 1-0 in the top of the second inning with his fifth home run of the season -- a solo shot over the right-center field fence. Fort Wayne (12-20, 55-46) scored again that inning when Maxx Tissenbaum doubled down the right-field line to plate Luis Domoromo from first base with two outs.
The TinCaps' 2-0 lead lasted until the fourth inning behind left-handed starter Max Fried (4-5). The Whitecaps, however, tied the game, 2-2, with a two-run homer by West Michigan's rookie out of Vanderbilt, Connor Harrell. West Michigan (16-16, 49-53) then grabbed a lead in the bottom of the fifth with two more runs. Fried, who walked five batters in the game, issued walks to the first two batters of the inning and then gave up RBI singles to Danry Vasquez and Jared Reaves that made it 4-2.
Meanwhile, Fort Wayne was held scoreless from the third inning through the sixth. West Michigan starter Jake Thompson (1-3) earned his first professional win at the age of 19 with five innings of work, five hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. Darin Downs, appearing in a Major League Rehab assignment for the parent Detroit Tigers, threw a perfect sixth.
The TinCaps cut their deficit to one run in the seventh against Josh Turley. Tissenbaum, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, hit his second double of the game to center field. With two outs, Mallex Smith came through with a single to right, and Fort Wayne trailed 4-3.
In the top of the ninth, Luis Domoromo and Chris Burke led off with back-to-back singles off Corey Knebel. But the 2013 first-round selection from Texas recovered after that to earn his seventh save in as many opportunities.
Fort Wayne and West Michigan conclude their three-game set with the rubber game on Friday night at 7:00. Matthew Shepherd (4-2, 3.65) starts for the TinCaps against the Whitecaps' Endrys Briceno (6-6, 4.15).
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