Fort Wayne (Indiana's NewsCenter)- With playoff implications looming large at Parkview Field on Wednesday night the Fort Wayne TinCaps offense was blanked, as West Michigan picked up a 1-0 victory. Fort Wayne starter James Needy threw all nine innings and did not allow an earned run as he worked his way into the TinCaps record books.
West Michigan (34-31, 70-65) scored the game’s only run in the top half of the second inning. Lance Durham reached base on a one-out infield single and advanced to second on a Pat Leyland single to right field. After Needy (6-3) recorded another out, he induced a grounder to short off the bat of Gabriel Purroy. Fort Wayne (35-30, 66-69) shortstop Jace Peterson fielded the ball but threw over the head of first baseman Travis Whitmore, which allowed Durham to score from second base. Needy only allowed one hit the remainder of the game.
The TinCaps could not solve Whitecaps starter Wilsen Palacios (12-9), scraping together two hits against the righty. Reliever Chad Smith retired the side in order the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Jade Todd faced three batters in the ninth, leaving the game with two outs and Yeison Asencio at first base. Mike Gallic, representing the winning run, pinch hit for Travis Whitmore, but grounded out against righthander Melvin Mercedes, which ended the game.
With Needy’s effort, he becomes the first starting pitcher in TinCaps history to throw nine innings in a single game. The last time that took place was July 17, 2007, as Stephen Faris hurled nine innings of one-hit baseball in a 12-0 win over the Clinton LumberKings at Memorial Stadium.
Elsewhere in the league Lake County defeated Bowling Green, which puts the Captains one game in front of the TinCaps with five to play in the regular season. West Michigan trails Fort Wayne by one game.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:05. The scheduled starters are Matt Wisler for the TinCaps and Tommy Collier for the Whitecaps.
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