The TinCaps are one victory away from making the postseason – for a third straight year.
A 6-5 victory Saturday night over the West Michigan Whitecaps at Comstock Park, Mich., gave Fort Wayne a one-game lead over the Whitecaps for the final playoff spot out of the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
Not bad for a Fort Wayne team that was reeling days ago.
The TinCaps had lost 6 of 8 before their dramatic, 11-inning 7-6 comeback victory against visiting South Bend on Thursday night, which was followed by a 12-0 crushing of the Silver Hawks the next night at Parkview Field.
That set up this winner-take-all series, and the TinCaps didn’t disappoint in the opener.
It was tied at 2 before the TinCaps got four runs in the top of the seventh inning, thanks to an RBI single from league MVP Rymer Liriano and a three-run home run from Connor Powers.
The Whitecaps scored had a surge of their own in the bottom of the eighth – they got three runs in the eighth, with one coming because of a fielding error by Fort Wayne second baseman Cory Spangenberg – but in the ninth, the TinCaps got a record-tying steal from LirianoHe stole his 65th base of the season, tying Jeremy Owens’ franchise mark from 1999.
Fort Wayne is 38-30 in the second half, 68-69 overall. West Michigan is 37-31, 69-68. The teams meet twice more to close out the season.
Cory Spangenberg was 3 for 4. Powers was 2 for 4. Kevin Quackenbush went 161/37 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three for his eighth save.