For the record, it was a triple – with a fielding error by the right-fielder tacked on to the end – at Parkview Field on Thursday night.
But don't tell the fans it wasn't officially an inside-the-park home run because they sure celebrated like it was, after Luis Domoromo circled the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning, tying it for the TinCaps, after they had looked like doormats most of the night.
Instead, the door is still open for a playoff berth, and that would be the third straight year with one, after the TinCaps defeated the South Bend Silver Hawks 7-6 in 11 innings, in front of 5,151 fans.
"If we're going to lose, we're going to do it with intensity or whatever you want to call it – swagger, smile – and let's just go from there because we've been playing that way the whole second half," TinCaps manager Shawn Wooten said.
Because of the TinCaps' confidence in the face of a four-game losing streak and a 6-2 deficit Thursday, they were able to get the comeback victory and remain tied with West Michigan – both are 36-30 in the second half – for the last playoff spot out of the Midwest League's Eastern Division.
The eighth-inning comeback against South Bend (32-34) began with an RBI double from Rico Noel, who would ultimately be the hero in this game with three straight doubles. Rymer Liriano, the Midwest League's newly crowned MVP, followed with an RBI double. And when Domoromo lined his shot into the right-field corner – and it was misplayed by Roberto Ortiz – the game was suddenly tied at 6.
It looked as if the TinCaps were going to steal the victory in the 10th inning. Noel got things going with a leadoff double off the left-field wall. That was followed by Cory Spangenberg's bunt single and an intentional walk for Liriano.
But Domoromo was struck out by Christopher Odegaard, setting things up for Connor Powers, who also struck out before Wes Cunningham grounded out to second base, stranding three runners.
Did the TinCaps get down? Nope.
In the bottom of the 11th, B.J. Guinn took an 0-2 count all the way to a walk off pitcher Jeremy Erben. Guinn got to cross home plate because of Noel's two-out, game-winning double for the victory.
"My goal is always to try and get on base and then use my speed, but I got a couple good pitches to hit tonight," said Noel, who was 4 for 6 with two runs and two RBI.
Noel was rested in this game – Wooten gave him Wednesday off, when the TinCaps lost 9-8 to South Bend – and that relaxation was apparent.
"It's good to have a day off," Noel said. "It actually feels like you're getting more than one day off, when you have played so many days in a row. My legs were under me a little bit and it obviously worked out."
Wooten was pleased that plan came together.
"I'm sure a lot of guys in that clubhouse could use a day (off), but I decided he was the one," Wooten said. "Today, he got back and was relaxed a little bit and it looked like he had a little bit more energy. He went after balls and had a little more energy. He was huge."
Domoromo was 2 for 5 with two RBI. Chris Bisson was 2 for 5, too.
Fort Wayne used five pitchers, and the victory went to Adam Dominick, who pitched two innings, allowing no hits.
South Bend's Gerson Montilla was 3 for 5 with three RBI.