The Fort Wayne TinCaps erased a 6-0 deficit Thursday to defeat the host Lansing Lugnuts, 9-6, and sweep their best-of-three Midwest League first-round playoff series. The TinCaps will play Lake County in the Eastern Division Championship series. The first of the best-of-three series will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Parkview Field.
Fort Wayne started its comeback in the fifth inning by scoring two runs. Down 6-0 when the inning started, the TinCaps got only two hits in the fifth but scored on a force out and and an error to cut the deficit to 6-2.
The seventh inning was big for Fort Wayne as it scored four runs to tie the score at 6. Lee Orr led off the inning with a solo homer. Three of the next four Fort Wayne batters reached base. Two were on walks and one was on an error to load the bases. A walk to Jeremy Baltz scored a run and a ground out by Austin Hedges plated another to make the score 6-5. Fort Wayne tied it on a run-scoring single by Duanel Jones.
Fort Wayne took the lead in the 8th inning. Orr got the inning started with a leadoff double. He eventually scored on a two-out single by Jace Peterson to make the score 7-6.
The TinCaps completed the scoring with two runs in the ninth. Both runs scored on a double by Orr, who finished 3-for-5 in the game.
Fort Wayne starter Matt Wisler allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings but the TinCaps' bullpen pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball to get him off the hook. Five pitchers pitched in relief for the TinCaps with Luis De La Cruz getting the win and Matt Stites the save. Wisler gave up six hits and the bullpen combined to allow five.
Former Leo High School and Indiana Tech pitcher Brandon Alger pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing no runs on one hit.