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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:30 pm

TinCaps win second straight: Final thoughts

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

There is a winning streak at Parkview Field.

The TinCaps beat the Great Lakes Loons for the second straight Wednesday, picking up their first back-to-back victories of the season. It was a day of milestones for this season, as Fort Wayne also got its first series win, clinching a victory in this three-game set against the Loons, and saw its first pitcher throw six innings in a game this season.

That pitcher, left-hander Aaron Leasher, was the story of this game for the first six innings. He wasn't as dominant as fellow lefty Nick Margevicius was yesterday, but he got the job done, striking out seven over six innings without giving up a run. His final two innings were the most impressive, as he set down six in a row and struck out three, keeping the game scoreless until Fort Wayne's offense could break through.

Leasher looked like a pitcher ready to throw three more innings this afternoon, but with the cold weather and his pitch count creeping above 80, there was no reason to leave him out there. Soon enough, he'll have a chance to to go deeper into games and if his last two starts are any indication, he could turn into a workhorse for this TinCaps team. With Leasher, Nick Margevicius and eventually MacKenzie Gore, Fort Wayne has a top three on its staff that can match anyone in the Midwest League.

The offense was its usual Jekyll-and-Hyde self today, looking punchless through five innings against starter Edwin Uceta and then lighting up reliever Aneurys Zabala to the tune of six runs in just 1 1/3 innings. Again, patience was the most important aspect of the TinCaps' approach at the plate, as they took five walks between the sixth and the eighth innings and four of them came around to score. Jack Suwinski walked three times today as the Loons pitching staff continues to help their opponents as much as possible. 

The most important feature of the TinCaps' recent resurgence has been their ability to take advantage of opportunities when they have them. Their clutch hitting in the first two games of this series has been superb and that's the kind of thing that can snowball. When a team becomes confident with runners on base and feels it's going to score multiple runs, big innings are likely to follow. This Fort Wayne team is clearly gaining that confidence right now and if it's doing that with this many young players just two weeks into the season, the rest of the Midwest League should be on notice. The kids are figuring it out.

dsinn@jg.net