Fort Wayne clinched a playoff spot with a 7-2 victory against West Michigan in front of 6,733 fans Monday at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich.
Rocky Gale and Connor Powers hit home runs. Keyvius Sampson gave up one run in six innings.
Here are the highlights.
Key at-bat: Gale hit his first professional home run in the third inning. The solo home run barely cleared the fence in left field. It gave the TinCaps a 1-0 lead. Fort Wayne held the lead for the rest of the game.
Key out: Fort Wayne led 2-1 in the sixth, but West Michigan had runners on first and second with one out. Jason Krizan hit a fly ball to center field. Rico Noel made a nice running catch and fired the ball to shortstop B.J. Guinn, who spun around and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
Playoff schedule: Fort Wayne faces Bowling Green. Here is the schedule.
Game 1: Bowling Green at Fort Wayne, 7:05 p.m., Wednesday
Game 2: Fort Wayne at Bowling Green, 7:30 p.m., Thursday
Game 3: Fort Wayne at Bowling Green, 7:30 p.m., Friday (if necessary)
"I had it in the back of my head since my last outing since I went basically two innings (he lasted 2 1/3 innings Wednesday against South Bend.) They asked a couple of days ago 'if we split the first two games, would you be ready to go?' I told them, give me the ball and I'll go out there and do what I can."
- Sampson on his outing. He struck out eight in the six innings. He gave up five hits.