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  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Producer and personality of ESPN hit talk show “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” Michael Ryan Ruiz pitches the ball before the TinCaps vs. Chiefs at Parkview Field on Thursday.

Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:50 pm

Postgame Blog: Tincaps 12, Peoria 11

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

The TinCaps trailed 8-0 and then 11-2, but put together the comeback of the season on the “The Unofficial Dan Le Batard with Stugotz Occurence Day.”

Trailing 11-7 headed into the eighth, Luke Becker, Michael Curry and Lee Solomon loaded the bases and Jawuan Harris knocked out a grand slam, his second home run of the night, to tie the game at 11.

But the TinCaps kept the chains moving, as Tucupita Marcano reached on an infield hit. He was erased on a fielder’s choice but slid hard into second, bringing both benches onto the field after a bit of jawing.

Agustin Ruiz then reached on a single that moved Ethan Skender to third. He made a move to steal second and found himself in a rundown, which gave Skender just enough time to score the winning run. (Ruiz was incidentally safe, sliding under the tag.)

As was the case in Wednesday’s win, the Chiefs got on the scoreboard in the first inning, as Brendan Donovan led off the game with a ground ball to right, and then moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Delvin Perez. He came home to score on a single to left by Ivan Herrera, and then Alexis Wilson hit another single to left, this time scoring Herrera.

But unlike Wednesday’s TinCaps win, Fort Wayne didn’t respond in kind in the bottom of the first, and Peoria continued to do damage, adding three more runs in the second inning to go up 5-0. Brandon Benson led off the second inning with a single to left, Edwin Figuera reached on a hit-by-pitch, and then Donovan kept the hit train going with a single to right that scored Benson. Perez followed that with a comebacker to Keating that the pitcher couldn’t handle, and he was charged with an error as Figuera scored. Brandon Riley then hit another single that scored Donovan.

After a (relatively) clean third inning, Perez led off the fourth inning by getting plunked, the third time Keating had hit a batter in this game. Brady Whalen followed that with a single, and then both scored on a massive home run that left Herrera’s bat at 104 miles per hour and went 405 feet, putting Peoria up 8-0.

The TinCaps finally got on the board in the fourth inning, as Ethan Skender led off with a triple to left field, aided by the Chiefs left-fielder slipping and falling as he chased the ball. Agustin Ruiz then reached on an error by the Peoria short stop, scoring Skender. Blake Hunt moved Ruiz over with a single, and Ruiz scored on a ground out by Becker to narrow the score to 8-2.

Austin Smith relieved Sam Keating in the fifth, but the hits kept on coming for the Chiefs, as Benson led off with a double and Figuera sent him home with a single. Donovan followed that with a triple, his third hit of the night, to score Figuera, and he then came around to score the Chiefs’ 11th run of the night on a sacrifice fly.

Jawuan Harris hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to make the score 11-3, and then a single by Skender and double by Ruiz made the score 11-4. Blake Hunt followed witha home run to bring the score to 11-6, giving the TinCaps a hint of life.

Back-to-back doubles by Becker and Curry to lead off the bottom of the sixth further narrowed the score to 11-7.

Player of the Game: Jawuan Harris

He hit two home runs in the No. 9 spot. His solo home run just crossed the fence in centerfield, and the grand slam was easily one of the most clutch hits of the season for the TinCaps. The kicker? Harris is from Miami, home of the "Dan LeBatard with Stugotz Show" and his parents just arrived in town this morning for a visit to Fort Wayne. 

vjacobsen@jg.net