A blown call in the first inning set the tone for Fort Wayne’s frustrating 8-4 loss to Great Lakes on Sunday at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps (48-38, 5-12 second half) had three runs taken away from them in the first inning.
With runners on first and second, designated hitter Diego Goris launched a ball to dead center that hit the front of the 400 Club. Because there is separation between the wall of the building and the center field wall, it should have been a home run.
But the umpires didn’t see it, and as Corey Adamson rounded third and Maxx Tissenbaum broke past second, play went on.
Goris advanced to second amid the confusion, while Adamson headed back to third and trapped Tissenbaum, who was tagged out.
I thought that it had the distance off the bat, Tissenbaum said. It’s kind of tough with the two green walls. I don’t know – I didn’t actually see where it hit. I just kind of thought I heard it hit above.
TinCaps manager Jose Valentin rushed from his spot coaching third base toward the umpires to plead his case and continued to bark at the umps as he headed to the dugout at the end of the inning.
He talked to home plate umpire Sean Allen at the start of the next inning, as well.
It completely changed the game right there, Valentin said. I don’t like to make excuses, but you know, who knows? It’s a different ballgame.
Bad call aside, there were still eight innings to play. And the TinCaps were outplayed in all of them.
TinCaps starter Joe Ross went just 3 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and four earned runs.
He surrendered three walks and had no strikeouts in one of his worst outings this season.
Reliever Ruben Mejia gave up four hits and two runs, one earned, while Jorge Guzman gave up another pair of earned runs on a 15-hit day for Great Lakes (40-48, 13-5 second half).
Frustration simmered over at the plate, too, with a crowd of 5,020 on hand.
In his second at-bat of the game, Tissenbaum popped out to the second baseman and broke his bat as he slammed it on the dirt.
He was one of 12 straight batters Loons starter Miguel Sulbaran retired after the blown call.
Sulbaran went six innings with six hits and one earned run to his credit, good enough for his team to pad the lead and the relievers to contain Fort Wayne.
He got some confidence back, and he was a completely different pitcher, Valentin said. We got eight more innings to do something. We didn’t do it.
The TinCaps recorded 13 hits in the loss but couldn’t hit well enough with runners in scoring position, a point of frustration for Valentin all year.
The TinCaps left nine runners in scoring position.
It was frustrating, and I think part of the thing we have to learn from that is you can’t let a call like that early in a game sort of dictate the way that the day goes, Tissenbaum said.
Can’t let something like that, first (big) play of the game, change everything.