Comstock Park, Michigan (Indiana's NewsCenter)- A three-run home run by West Michigan's Jeff Maggard proved to be the difference Wednesday night, as his one swing of the bat delivered the Whitecaps to a 3-2 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Fort Wayne has now lost four consecutive games.
The TinCaps scored first, getting on the board before the opposition for the first time since Saturday night. Travis Jankowski reached on a one-out double in the first inning, and came across to score on a groundout by Mike Gallic, which gave Fort Wayne (32-26, 63-65) a 1-0 lead. That advantage stretched to 2-0 in the fourth inning when Matt Colantonio drew a bases-loaded walk against West Michigan (29-29, 66-63) starter Marcelo Carreno.
Fort Wayne’s Ruben Mejia, who was seeking back-to-back wins, left in line for a victory having tossed five scoreless innings. He allowed at least one base runner in every inning he worked, but struck out four of the last six batters he faced.
James Jones (2-4) entered in the sixth, retiring Jason King on strikes. Jones then walked Jason Krizan, surrendered a single to Pat Leyland. With two outs, he then surrendered a three-run home run to Maggard. Maggard’s fourth home run of the year bounced off of the manual scoreboard in left field, putting the Whitecaps in front for good.
Over the final five innings of the game, the TinCaps sent 17 men to the plate, but only three reached base. Travis Jankowski singled in the fifth, and Matt Colantonio provided singles in both the seventh and ninth innings. Fort Wayne finished the night 1-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven men on base.
West Michigan’s Michael Torrealba (5-4) earned the victory, working two and two thirds innings of scoreless relief. Melvin Mercedes faced four batters in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:00. The scheduled starters are James Needy for the TinCaps and Jeff Ferrell for the Whitecaps.
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