Matt Wisler turned in six scoreless innings against West Michigan Friday night and left with a 4-0 lead, but the Whitecaps scored five runs on two hits in the seventh inning, rallying to defeat Fort Wayne, 5-4. With the victory, West Michigan won two of the three games in the series.
Wisler, who did not factor in the decision, gave up just one hit over six innings, walking one and striking out six. He left the game in line for the first back-to-back wins of his professional career. The TinCaps scored twice in the first on run-scoring hits by Travis Whitmore and Mike Gallic. Fort Wayne (33-27, 64-66) scored single runs in the fifth and sixth, with Travis Jankowski and Austin Hedges providing the offense.
In the seventh inning Dennis O’Grady came on to face a West Michigan (31-29, 67-63) lineup that had been held hitless through the first four innings. The righty walked the first two batters he faced, recorded a groundout, walked another batter to load the bases and then struck out catcher Zach Maggard for the second. O’Grady then walked Chad Wright with the bases loaded, giving the Whitecaps their first run of the game.
James Jones (2-5) was called on to relive O’Grady, but Jones gave up a two-run single to Eugenio Suarez, which made it a 4-3 ballgame. With Lance Durham at the plate, Suarez broke for second, which drew a throw from catcher Austin Hedges. With Hedges’ throw to second, Wright jolted from third and stole home uncontested, tying the game at 4. Jones intentionally walked, Durham, but then surrendered an RBI single to Jeff McVaney, putting the Whitecaps ahead for good.
With the loss, Fort Wayne falls one game behind Lake County in the Midwest League second half standings. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Captains currently qualify as the second half champions, with the TinCaps in the wild card spot. West Michigan is now two games behind Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps continue their seven-game road trip with the first of four against Lansing at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The scheduled starters are Erik Cabrera for Fort Wayne and Aaron Sanchez for Lansing.