FORT WAYNE – A sell-out crowd of 7,561 fans came out to Parkview Field for Opening Day at the ballpark on Saturday night, but the Fort Wayne TinCaps lost to the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 5-4, in 11 innings. TinCaps shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. picked up two hits and an RBI in the loss.
For the third straight game, Fort Wayne (1-2) scored first. With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, center fielder Buddy Reed doubled to left field. Designated hitter Eguy Rosario then blasted a ball off the left-field wall, scoring Reed to give the TinCaps a 1-0 lead.
Bowling Green (2-1) tied the game in the top of third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Robbie Tenerowicz scored on a Nate Lowe ground out to tie the game at one.
The Hot Rods took the lead in the sixth inning. Lowe doubled to begin the frame. Garrett Whitley followed with a single to put runners on the corners. With Jonah Heim batting, Whitley stole second base. Heim then doubled, scoring both Lowe and Whitley to put Bowling Green on top, 3-1.
The TinCaps cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Tatis Jr. singled. Right fielder Jorge Oña followed with a double. Tatis Jr. scored from first base on the play to cut the Hot Rods’ lead to one, 3-2.
Bowling Green added a run in the seventh inning with one swing of the bat. With two outs, Mike Brosseau homered to center field, extending the Hot Rods’ advantage to 4-2.
Fort Wayne came back to tie the game in the eighth inning. Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. led off the half inning with a single. Left fielder Jack Suwinski then grounded into a fielder’s choice, in which Green Jr. was thrown out at second base, but Suwinski was safe at first. A single from second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza put runners on the corners. Tatis Jr. followed with a single that scored Suwinski and moved Ilarraza to second base as the TinCaps cut the deficit to one. An Oña groundout back to the pitcher’s mound moved Ilarraza to second base and Tatis Jr. to second. With third baseman Hudson Potts batting, a wild pitch allowed Ilarraza to score from third base and tie the game, 4-4.
The game went to extra innings where the Hot Rods gained an advantage in the 11th inning. With Rene Pinto at first base, Tenerowicz tripled to center field off of TinCaps right-hander Mark Zimmerman (L). The triple allowed Pinto to score and put Bowling Green up, 5-4.
Hot Rods right-handed pitcher Elias Torres (W) shut the TinCaps down in the 10th and 11th innings to earn the win for Bowling Green.