The TinCaps finished their 2021 home schedule with a powerful performance Sunday at Parkview Field, equaling a season-high with 16 hits and pounding three home runs in the final game in the Summit City this season.
Fort Wayne defeated the visiting Lansing Lugnuts 7-1, earning a split of the series after the TinCaps had dropped three of the first four games in the set, but won the final two to finish with an eighth split in 10 home series this season. They also won one (the first home series of the season back in May) and lost one.
Luis Almanzar, Victor Duarte and Tirso Ornelas all homered for the TinCaps, who came into the game with the fewest home runs in High-A Central.
- Fort Wayne finished the season 28-32 at Parkview Field, compared to 26-28 on the road so far It split its final five home series following a series loss to the Great Lakes Loons in early July. With the win, it ties Lansing for fifth place in the six-team High-A Central East Division in the race to avoid last place.
- The TinCaps combined for 16 runs on 31 hits in the final two games of the series after getting shut out Friday night in a 2-0 loss. Fort Wayne scored at least one run in five consecutive innings this afternoon. The TinCaps have three 16-hit games this season and two have been against Lansing.
- Ornelas went 4 for 5 and came up a triple short of the cycle. He has a hit in 11 straight starts and has multi-hit games in five of his last seven starts. He extended his league lead in doubles to 31 with a third-inning two-bagger and two innings later pulled a 379-foot home run to right, his seventh long ball of the season. It was his first four-hit game since Aug. 24, 2019.
- Duarte hit the longest ball of the day for Fort Wayne, a 417-foot two-run job to left-center in the fourth that just kept carrying in the warm late-summer air. After hitting .176 at the Arizona Complex League, Duarte has four hits in two games with the TinCaps, including a 2-for-4 performance this afternoon. He even made an out with a hard line drive to right in the second.
- Almanzar continued his late-season hot streak, going 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBI, his first three-hit game since May 26, giving him at least one hit in seven of his last eight games. He was able to admire his two-run homer in the second inning today, flipping his bat away as the ball sailed over the wall to put Fort Wayne up 2-0. It ended up traveling 389 feet, Almanzar's third long ball of the season. He has an OBP over .400 since Aug. 28.
- Ripken Reyes came into the game hitting .176 with Fort Wayne, but had three singles and scored twice today. It was his first three-hit game since Opening Day at Low-A Lake Elsinore on May 4.
- Robert Hassell III, the 2020 No. 8 overall pick, was one of the only TinCaps who had a tough day, going 0 for 5 with five swinging strikeouts. He also committed an error, dropping a fly ball in center after he went back on it and closed his glove a hair too quickly.
- TinCaps starter Felix Minjarez, making his second spot start of the week after spending most of the year as a long reliever, tossed four shutout innings, giving up only one hit and striking out four. It was his longest appearance since May 26. Minjarez pitched seven innings this week, giving up one run on three hits while whiffing eight.
- Fort Wayne brought in Gabe Mosser, who is usually a starter, for an inning of relief in the seventh inning. Mosser struck out all three hitters he faced, all swinging punchouts.
- The TinCaps will start their final series of the 2021 season Tuesday, when they travel to Dayton to play six games against the Dragons. Fort Wayne has a chance to play spoiler as the Dragons still have (albeit faint) hopes of earning a playoff spot. They are four games out of the final spot heading into the season's final week. Fort Wayne will finish the season .500 if it can somehow win all six games.