Pedro Avila was dominant Tuesday night at Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich. But it took the Fort Wayne TinCaps 10 innings to defeat the Great Lakes Loons 4-1.
Avila struck out 17 in 8 innings to break the franchise record of 15 set by LaTroy Hawkins in 1993. The 20-year-old right-hander retired the last 19 batters he faced, including striking nine of the last 10. For the game, Avila allowed one run on three hits and didn’t walk a batter. The only run Great Lakes scored against the Venezuelan was in the first inning when he allowed two of three hits against him.
Fort Wayne tied the game at 1 in the third inning without the benefit of a hit. Great Lakes pitchers Dan Jagiello and Melvin Jiminez combined to hit one batter and walk three in the inning. The TinCaps’ Tyler Selesky scored on a bases-loaded walk by Marcus Greene Jr. to make the score 1-1.
Both teams had an opportunity to win late in regulation. Fort Wayne loaded the bases in the 8th and 9th innings but failed to score.
It looked as if Great Lakes would win in the bottom of the ninth against TinCaps reliever Evan Miller. The Loons got two runners on against the former Fort Wayne Mastodon, who walked the leadoff batter Saige Jerico and intentionally walked another after a fielders choice put Jerico on second with one out. Starling Heredia singled to right field but Nate Easley threw Jerico out at the plate trying to score the winning run. Miller then got Carlos Rincon to send the game to extra innings.
The TinCaps were aided by sloppy play by the Loons to take the lead in the top of the 10th. Hudson Potts led off with a walk and he advanced to second on a passed ball. Easley then dropped down a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by catcher Connor Wong allowed Easley to reach first and Potts to score from second with the go-ahead run. A single by Jack Suwinski and a walk to Selesky loaded the bases with no outs. A sacrifice fly by Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in Easley to make it 3-1 Fort Wayne. An error by Great Lakes first baseman Nick Yarnall on a ball hit by Reinaldo Ilarraza allowed Suwinski to score the final run.
Miller shut down the Loons on one walk in the 10th to improve his record to 1-1. It was the fifth-straight win for the TinCaps and gave them a four-game sweep in the series against Great Lakes.
Fort Wayne only had two hits in the game - a single by Suwinski and a double by Jorge Ona.
Earlier Tuesday the San Diego Padres announced to roster moves involving the TinCaps. Right-handed pitcher Jim McDade was transferred from the Short-Season A Tri-City Dust to Fort Wayne while right-handed pitcher Mark Zimmerman was transferred from the TinCaps to Tri-City.
First pitch: Bowling Green at TinCaps, 7:05 p.m. Thursday
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