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The Journal Gazette

Monday, August 01, 2016 7:30 pm

TinCaps can't finish rally against Lugnuts

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

The TinCaps, after winning five straight games in close fashion, turned a blowout into a close game Monday night.

But Lansing's Andrew Case retired the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in order in the bottom of the ninth, and Fort Wayne fell 10-9 before an announced crowd of 5,567 at Parkview Field.

Once down 10-2, the TinCaps made it a contest with their five-run eighth inning. Nick Vilter drew a bases-loaded walk and and Tyler Selesky hit a two-run double all before an out was recorded. After Lansing made a pitching change, Alan Garcia's sacrifice fly and Peter Van Gansen's RBI single capped the uprising.

The Lugnuts jumped on top 2-0 in the second when Justin Atkinson hit an RBI double and John La Prise an RBI single. In the third, Connor Panas launched a three-run home run to make it 5-0.

In the fourth, Andrew Guillotte hit an RBI grounder, and Max Pentecost's two-run triple for an 8-2 lead chased Austin Smith. The right-hander went 3 1/3 innings and gave up 10 hits. Braxton Lorenzini, in his TinCap debut, entered and surrended a two-run homer to Panas.

The TinCaps (51-56, 15-22 second half) scored twice in the third on Ruddy Giron's RBI double and Austin Allen's sacrifice fly. Brad Zunica cut the deficit to 10-4 with a two-run single in the fifth.

In the Midwest League's Eastern Division, Lansing (55-52, 19-18) now has a four-game lead over Fort Wayne in the wild-card race and can earn a split of the teams' four-game series with a win Tuesday night.