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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, September 16, 2017 10:50 pm

TinCaps pounded as Quad Cities finishes sweep

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Adrian Morejon handed the baseball to his manager and trudged off the pitcher's mound, moving as slowly as a barge on the Mississippi River.

Morejon's slumped shoulders and prolonged walk back to the TinCaps' dugout were foreshadowing. Some two hours later, Fort Wayne's season, replete with franchise records and feel-good plot twists, was over.

It ended in ignominious fashion. Forget about winning a game in the Midwest League Championship Series, the TinCaps never held a lead, as Quad Cities completed its three-game sweep with a 12-2 rout Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park.

After losing 6-3 in Game 1 and 5-0 in Game 2, Fort Wayne ventured onto the road knowing odds were long, but manager Anthony Contreras and his players still clung to hopes of the franchise's second Midwest League title.

Quad Cities wasted no time extinguishing them. A walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first inning, and Morejon allowed a two-run double to Troy Sieber and a sacrifice fly by Josh Rojas.

Things got completely out of hand in the second. Rated the fifth-best prospect in the San Diego Padres' farm system, Morejon was lifted with two outs after allowing Chuckie Robinson's RBI double to make it 4-0.

Ronald Bolanos entered and failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. He gave up an RBI double to Abraham Toro, bases-loaded walks to Wander Franco and J.J. Matijevic and Kristian Trompiz's two-run single.

In the third, Toro added an RBI single, and Robinson launched a two-run home run an estimated 356 feet in the fifth for a 12-0 edge.

Not until Jack Suwinski's two-run double in the seventh did the TinCaps break up the shutout. Ronel Blanco held them to four hits with 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings and departed to a standing ovation.

When the final out was recorded, an announced crowd of 4,608 filled the quaint stadium on the banks of the Mississippi with cheers and applause for Quad Cities' seventh Midwest League title.