First pitch: Fort Wayne at Bowling Green, today at 8:05 p.m.
Probable starters: FW/Frank Garces vs. BG/Jake Floethe
Radio: ESPN 1380-AM
One year is cause for celebration, but four consecutive years is something of a trend. Fort Wayne clinched a spot in the Midwest League Playoffs on Friday with a resounding 7-0 win over West Michigan at Parkview Field in front of a sell-out crowd of 7,721 fans.
The victory allowed the TinCaps to advance into the post-season for the fourth consecutive season and eight time in 10 seasons. The accomplishment is the 12th time the franchise has achieved this feat in its 20-year history.
Erik Cabrera turned in his best performance in his five starts since joining the TinCaps from the Dominican Summer League Padres. The 22-year-old delivered five and one-third shutout innings, walking two and striking out two. He at one point retired 10 consecutive batters and also received help from a sharp defense, as Kyle Gaedele threw out a runner at the plate in the first inning.
Fort Wayne (37-30 second half, 68-69) used perfect execution to get the game’s first run in the first inning.
Travis Jankowski led off and reached on an infield single before moving to second base on a throwing error by third baseman Jason King. King committed two of the four West Michigan (35-32, 70-66) errors on the night.
Jace Peterson used a sacrifice bunt to move Jankowski to third, and he scored one batter later on a Yeison Asencio sacrifice fly.
Gaedele used a fifth-inning RBI single to give the TinCaps a 2-0 lead. Whitecaps starter Kyle Ryan (7-8) left after five innings, allowing two runs (one earned), striking out three and not issuing a walk.
The game turned in a nine-batter sixth inning. Fort Wayne scored four runs against West Michigan’s Michael Torrealba, stretching a two-run advantage to a six-run margin. The TinCaps added one final run in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single from Tyler Stubblefield.
Fort Wayne’s first-round playoff opponent will be either first-half champion Lansing or first-half wild card Bowling Green. With three games remaining, the TinCaps currently trail Lake County by one game in the race for the second-half title.