Fort Wayne, IN - For the second time in three games, the TinCaps pulled off a furious, late-inning rally to come-from-behind and beat the West Michigan Whitecaps Sunday at Parkview Field. With four runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth, Fort Wayne erased a five-run deficit to win Sunday, 8-6. Brian Adams led the comeback with a pair of doubles to drive in three runs.
The ballgame began ominously for the TinCaps, as starter Max Fried surrendered two first-inning runs. But behind, 2-0, Fort Wayne left fielder Alberth Martinez tripled in the home-half of the first and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Maxx Tissenbaum to make it 2-1.
West Michigan (27-27) expanded its lead to 6-1, though, with four more runs off Fried in the fourth. The left-hander left the game after 3 and 1/3 innings, having allowed six runs on six hits and four walks.
Fort Wayne (32-23) continued to trail 6-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. However, Luis Tejada led the frame off with a single. Two batters later, TinCaps pitcher Joe Church, who came on in relief of Fried and was entered into the batting order replacing the ejected Stephen Carmon, bunted for a base hit. Adams doubled home Tejada, and the comeback had commenced. Mallex Smith proceeded to plate Church on a fielder's choice, and Martinez followed that with a double to score Smith. The TinCaps had cut their deficit to 6-5.
Leonel Campos (2-1) threw a scoreless eighth inning for Fort Wayne, setting the stage for the TinCaps' bats to finish their turnaround in the bottom of the inning. The first two batters of the frame were retired by West Michigan reliever Julio Felix (0-2). But Chris Burke, who finished 2-for-4 for the fourth straight game, began a rally with a single. Pinch-hitter Corey Adamson then walked, and Adams, who struck out in his first two at-bats of the game, ripped a go-ahead double to left-center field to score both Burke and Adamson. Smith added an insurance RBI by scoring Adams with a single, putting Fort Wayne up 8-6.
Roman Madrid twirled a one-two-three ninth for the TinCaps to earn his 10th save of the season. Although not factoring into the decision, Church pitched 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. The right-hander out of Marshall University, in only his second Midwest League appearance, gave up just one hit and one walk while striking out four.
The TinCaps and Whitecaps wrap up their four-game series at Parkview Field on Monday night at 7:05. Justin Hancock is set to receive the ball for Fort Wayne against West Michigan's Charlie Gillies. The game can be seen on XFINITY Channel 81, and heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.