vs. Lake County
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
FORT WAYNE —
Seconds go by as they wait to collect themselves for the next delivery.
Payton Baskette is not one of those pitchers.
The TinCaps left-hander found his style, much the opposite, in high school.
“I get the ball, go at it and attack the hitters,” Baskette said after earning his first victory in Monday's 10-5 blitz of Lake County. “As fast as I can.”
Baskette (1-1) threw a season-high six innings and struck out a season-high five batters as his teammates made quick work of Lake County at the plate.
The TinCaps (15-21) rang up 14 hits and went 8 for 16 with runners in scoring position, displaying a groove that first baseman Jake Bauers attributed to extra sessions of batting practice.
“It's all in preparation,” said Bauers, who was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBI singles. “The last few days all of our lineup has been out working a little harder and trying to get extra swings in. It shows in the box score.”
Before 4,034 fans at humid Parkview Field, Lake County (11-26) was overmatched by a TinCaps club happy to be home after a 2-4 road trip.
“Some tough games on the road,” said center fielder Mallex Smith, whose two stolen bases raised his minors-leading total to 25. “Come back and get us going in the right direction again. Real good. We played together. Things fell. All in all, we had a good day.”
Baskette, the 20-year-old Texan, was charged with five runs, though one directly resulted from an error and only three were earned.
Pitching to a 3.71 ERA, he has established himself as perhaps Fort Wayne's most reliable starter.
“He probably deserved a couple (more) wins,” TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. “For whatever reason, we couldn't get them for him.”
It was even a close call this time.
The TinCaps fell behind 3-0 in the third due partly because of a pair of errors from Fernando Perez, playing third base, where he committed three errors in a game last week.
After scoring five in the bottom half, capped by Ryan Miller's three-run shot to left, Fort Wayne gave up two runs in the fifth before taking the lead for good on Henry Charles' RBI groundout.
That was enough for Baskette, who walked two and gave up six hits.
Franmil Reyes made it 9-5 with a two-run double in the sixth, and Tony Rizzotti, Eric Yardley and Wilson Santos each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
Behind Baskette's tempo, it was one of the TinCaps' quicker games at 2 hours, 38 minutes.
“His big strength is his innings are quick even if he gets in a little bit of trouble,” Collins said. “What happens, happens. Going into it, you feel good.”
That goes for the fielders behind Baskette, too.
“It's definitely better than a slow tempo,” Bauers said. “You stay in the game and on your toes.”