There is such a thing as heading into the postseason with positive momentum and then there is doing what Fort Wayne did Monday at Parkview Field against Bowling Green.The TinCaps connected for 20 hits en route to 17-0 demolition of the Hot Rods in front of 5,382 fans.
"Our fans have been a big part of our success on the field," TinCaps Manager Francisco Morales said in a release. "We feed of the energy of the fans and hope to have some big crowds now for the playoffs."
The win capped the regular season and the Eastern Division champion Fort Wayne will travel to West Michigan Wednesday to open the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs.Fort Wayne hitters got to Bowling Green starter Brad Wallace (2-6) early and often, as they scored runs in each of the first three innings to build a 5-0 lead.
The TinCaps (77-61 overall, 45-25 second half) added a couple more in the fifth inning, before the Hot Rods went to their bullpen.
Wallace allowed 11 hits and six earned runs in five innings of work.
Meanwhile, Fort Wayne starter Pete Kelich (3-2) was very good.
Kelich threw six innings and allowed just two Bowling Green hits (the Hot Rods had just four on the day), no runs and walked just one.
Fort Wayne clean-up hitter Franmil Reyes boomed five hits in as many at bats to pace his team. He had three doubles, as many runs, and finished with five RBIs.
TinCap hitters Josh VanMeter (three hits, two runs), Michael Gettys (three hits, two runs, one RBI), Trae Santos (two hits, two runs, two RBIs), Franchy Cordero (two hits, one run, two RBIs), and Luis Tejada (two hits, two runs, three RBIs), and Michael Miller (one hit, two runs, two RBIs) also had very productive days at the plate.
Aaron Cressley earned his first save after pitching the final three innings. He struck out five Bowling Green (69-69, 32-36) hitters and gave up just two hits.
FILLING THE SEATS
Fort Wayne set a new attendance mark with a 2015 average of 5,971 fans. The mark topped the previous mark 5,810 fans, which was set last year.
"The TinCaps front office, coaching staff, and players are incredibly grateful for the 400,000-plus fans who attended a game at Parkview Field this season," TinCaps President Mike Nutter. "The support of fans in this region is amazing. Fort Wayne has the best fans in Minor League Baseball, as evidenced by setting attendance records in Parkview Field’s seventh season."
What made the achievement even more impressive was the fact that the club had three different 'Firework Nights' rained out, which are historically very popular to attend.
Midwest League Playoffs
First pitch: Fort Wayne at West Michigan, Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 1380-AM