Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Hudson Potts, with the TinCaps, runs the bases after hitting a grandslam in the second inning of Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette TinCaps' G.K. Young singles on a fly ball in the third inning of Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Kyle Overstreet, with the TinCaps, waits for a high ball in the first inning of Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette TinCaps' Nate Easley waits for a high ball in the first inning of Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Reggie Lawson, with the TinCaps, started out pitching in Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette TinCaps' Jorge Ona, hits a foul ball in the first inning of Wednesday's game against Great Lakes at Parkview Field.
Josh Evans | The Journal Gazette TinCaps G.K. Young attempts to make a tag as Great Lakes Cristian Santana inthe first inning of Wednesdays game at Parkview Field.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:40 pm
Potts with 7 RBI; TinCaps' magic number 1
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
The talk of the ballpark may have been the TinCap’s magic number for clinching a playoff spot for the eighth time in nine years – that number is down to one, by the way – but the real story Wednesday night was the magic of Hudson Potts.
His early work, hitting a three-run home run in the first inning and a grand slam in the second, gave Fort Wayne enough of a lead to eventually defeat the Great Lakes Loons 7-5, in front of 4,780 fans at Parkview Field.
Potts’ seven RBI were one short of the TinCaps’ franchise record, which was set by Tom Knauss in 1993 and equaled by John Schroeder in 1996 – both doing so in road games.
Potts was 2 for 5.
Fort Wayne (40-25 in second half, 66-69 overall), which was opening a three-game series with the Loons (30-35, 66-68), won for the fifth time in its last 11 games. But the TinCaps have won 32 of their last 49 games.
Fort Wayne is battling for a playoff spot with South Bend, which lost 2-0 tonight to West Michigan. The TinCaps, who missed the 2016 postseason, would secure a playoff berth by winning Thursday or if South Bend loses to West Michigan.
The Loons’ starting pitcher tonight, Marshall Kasowski, lasted only two-thirds of an inning after allowing the TinCaps to take a 3-1 lead by walking the leadoff batter, Jack Suwinski, then Nate Easley and allowing Potts to drive the ball over the wall in right-center field.
By the end of the second inning, Potts was 2 for 2 with a pair of home runs and all seven RBI, as the TinCaps went up 7-1 on his grand slam over the left-field wall off Melvin Jimenez.
Potts has 19 home runs, leapfrogging the 18 of Brad Zunica for the most by a player on the TinCaps’ current roster. Zunica, however, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 10 because of a broken bone in his foot. Fernando Tatis Jr. had 21 home runs, five short of the Midwest League lead held by Lake County’s Emmanuel Tapia, before Tatis made the jump to Double-A San Antonio on Aug. 21.
Potts has a whopping 17 home runs since June 1, the TinCaps’ 54th game of the season.
Great Lakes scored three runs in the fifth inning – Christian Santana had an RBI single, Fort Wayne reliever Ronald Bolanos threw a bases-loaded walk facing his first batter, and Steve Berman had an RBI groundout – and that cut the TinCaps’ lead to 7-5. Bolanos had replaced Reggie Lawson, who gave up five runs and seven hits, striking out eight and walking four.
Notes: The TinCaps will wear special jerseys Friday night and auction them off at TinCapsJersey.com. The proceeds will go to Minor League Baseball Charities to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. MiLB will match up to $10,000 in donations and the Midwest League will match up to $5,000. The jerseys are of the “fauxback” style from the TinCaps’ July 7 ’70s Night.