vs. South Bend
When: 7:05 p.m. today
TV: Xfinity Channel 81
Radio: 1380 AM
Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)
Information: TinCaps.com or 482-6400
Even though a South Bend run was taken off the board in the third inning Thursday, the Silver Hawks finished with enough to spare.
Hammering four TinCaps pitchers for 15 hits and taking advantage of five errors, South Bend knocked Fort Wayne out of a three-way tie for first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division with a 10-6 victory in front of 7,880 fans at Parkview Field.
The five errors were a season-high. Before Thursday, the TinCaps had committed four errors in a game six times.
The TinCaps (19-13, 50-52) came to the park on a serious roll. They had won eight of their last 10 games, had joined Bowling Green and Lansing at the top of the division standings, and a victory would even their overall record to .500 for the first time since they were 1-1 on April 6.
“It seems like every time we’re knocking at the (.500) door, people don’t want to open the door for us,” manager Jose Valentin said. “I think we’re trying too hard to get there instead of letting it happen.
“We are looking at the scoreboard too early instead of going out there and making it happen – playing baseball day by day. The way we played (Thursday) I don’t think we’re going to get to .500, so we better pick it up and play better than what we played.”
Instead of continuing the roll, they got rocked early when South Bend (17-15, 52-50) scored eight runs in the first five innings – and there could have been more.
In a busy top of the third inning, South Bend stroked three hits, had a batter hit, stole a base and watched Fort Wayne commit two errors. Amid the activity, Silver Hawks runner Matt Helm appeared to score on a bases-loaded double from Marc Bourgeois, but he didn’t touch home plate. The TinCaps appealed and Helm was called out.
There was another appeal during the game, and this one went against Fort Wayne.
Entering the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 8-2, the TinCaps got themselves back in the hunt. Travis Whitmore hit a bases-loaded single to drive in a run, and with the bases still jammed, Tyler Stubblefield roped a 3-2 fastball into the left field corner to bring in three more runs to cut the deficit to 8-6.
With Stubblefield on second, Kyle Gaedele, who hit two home runs a night earlier, belted a long fly ball to deep center field. Stubblefield then tagged up and raced to third base, but South Bend appealed that Stubblefield left the base early, and he was called out to end the inning.
It was the first of two doubles on the night for Stubblefield. Meanwhile, designated hitter Mike Gallic went 5 for 5 with two singles and three doubles.
It wasn’t the five hits from Gallic that ate at Valentin, but the five errors.
“Ugly game,” Valentin said. “Kind of crazy and ugly. We beat ourselves instead of get beat.”