FORT WAYNE – On Wednesday night, they pitched in tandem at Parkview Field. A few years from now, Padres fans hope they’ll be together again at Petco Park. Cal Quantrill, San Diego’s first round pick in June, and Anderson Espinoza, San Diego’s top-ranked prospect, both pitched for the TinCaps in a 6-4 win over the Great Lakes Loons.
As much as the game represented the promising future of the Padres, it was also a reminder of the bright state, and future, of baseball in the Summit City. Zach McKinstry, the Loons’ second baseman who graduated from Fort Wayne’s North Side High School in 2013, came through in front of friends and family with an RBI single and a walk, while Evan Miller, who was just pitching for the Fort Wayne Mastodons this spring, pitched out of the TinCaps’ bullpen.
Quantrill, the eighth overall pick in June’s MLB Draft, tossed three innings of two-run ball with a pair of strikeouts and sat 93-95 MPH with his fastball. Espinoza (W, 1-3) followed Quantrill with four frames. He struck out six, with his fastball clocking as high as 97 MPH, and allowed one run.
Offensively, the TinCaps (25-40, 61-74) got on the board quickly against lefty Victor Gonzalez (L, 3-6) as third baseman Carlos Belen started the scoring with an RBI single. Designated hitter Marcus Greene Jr. followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, and left fielder Jose Carlos Ureña later delivered a two-run single to center field to make it 4-0.
After the Loons grabbed a pair of runs in the top of the third, the TinCaps added one back in the home half of the frame when catcher Austin Allen, who had led off with a double, scored on a passed ball to widen the lead to 5-2.
Great Lakes (32-32, 61-73) continued to chip into its deficit with a run in the sixth and another in the eighth to make it 5-4. Fort Wayne added an insurance run in the eighth with a two-out RBI single from center fielder Taylor Kohlwey. David Bednar (S, 2) shut the door in the ninth.
Fort Wayne and Great Lakes meet again Thursday at 7:05 p.m.