EASTLAKE, Ohio – A late rally came up short for the TinCaps on Memorial Day afternoon in a 5-4 loss to the Lake County Captains at Classic Park.
Fort Wayne (26-25) trailed 5-0 at the end of five innings, but scored once in the sixth and three times in the ninth to make things interesting on a sunny afternoon.
With the bases full in the ninth, left fielder Kodie Tidwell (2-for-4, double, 2 RBI, walk) drove in two runs with a lazer to right field to make it a one-run game. Tidwell’s hit also advanced right fielder Jhonatan Peña to third base. Before Tidwell, Peña provided an RBI single with the bases full. However, with runners at the corners and no one out, the TinCaps couldn’t complete the comeback.
Third baseman Carlos Belen began the bid with a leadoff single against right-hander Kieran Lovegrove, who entered for the ninth. Catcher Kyle Overstreet (2-for-3, run, double, walk) followed with a single and shortstop Ruddy Giron drew a walk to load the bases for Peña.
Lake County (29-22) used the long ball to build its 5-0 lead. The Captains hit three home runs — one each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. The first two came off Jake Nix (L, 0-2), who hadn’t allowed a homer this season until today.
Matt Esparza (W, 5-2) went the first 5 2/3 innings for Lake County. Fort Wayne’s only run against him came without a hit in the sixth inning. Tidwell walked, stole second, and came across on a wild pitch and an error.
In relief of Nix, Austin Smith went a career-long 4 1/3 frames with only one run allowed.
The TinCaps and Captains split the four-game series. Fort Wayne went 3-4 on its road trip that started in Lansing.
The Summit City’s team is back home for a six-game homestand starting Tuesday against South Bend at Parkview Field, a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.