FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps pushed across a late run on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field to secure a 3-2 victory and split the four-game season-opening set against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays). Fort Wayne designated hitter Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his first home run of the season en route to the win.
After the Hot Rods (2-2) evened the score at two runs apiece, Reinaldo Ilarraza laced a two-out single that scored left fielder Rod Boykin in the bottom of the seventh inning.
From there, TinCaps reliever Ben Sheckler (W) retired six straight batters—including four strikeouts—to close out the win. He fanned seven total batters in 2.2 innings.
In the first inning, Tatis Jr. launched a monstrous home run that landed atop The Summit, presented by Tuthill, in center field. Fort Wayne (2-2) added another run in the third frame on an infield single from shortstop Hudson Potts that plated Ilarraza, giving the TinCaps a 2-0 lead.
TinCaps starter Jerry Keel tossed 6.1 innings in his first start of the season, striking out eight batters while allowing one earned run.
Bowling Green pushed a run across in the top of the seventh. Garrett Whitley’s RBI single chased Keel in his strong debut, and Whitley later scored on a fielding error.
Hot Rods reliever Deivy Mendez (L) took the loss after following Travis Ott, who threw 5.2 innings and struck out five.