Fort Wayne, IN -- In one of the best offensive games in franchise history, the TinCaps set season-highs for runs and hits in a game, as they beat the Lansing Lugnuts, 17-8, on a chilly Saturday evening at Parkview Field. Catcher Dane Phillips highlighted a 21-hit attack for Fort Wayne with four hits, including a home run and a triple, falling a double shy of the cycle.
The game's final score belies how the contest began. Lansing (4-8) jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Fort Wayne (8-6) starter Max Fried, who allowed two runs in the first inning and a pair more in the third.
The TinCaps began their offensive onslaught rather modestly in the third. Maxx Tissenbaum drove home Fort Wayne's first run on an RBI-groundout to plate Stephen Carmon. One batter later, Corey Adamson scored on a wild pitch by Lugnuts starter Roberto Osuna that made it 4-2. Phillips' second home run of the season - a shot over the right field wall - brought the TinCaps within a run, 4-3.
After Lansing responded with a run in the top of the fith to extend its lead to 5-3, Fort Wayne rallied once more and never looked back. Phillips again was the ignitor of the TinCaps offense in the fifth inning when he tripled to right-center field, scoring Adamson and Tissenbaum to tie the game, 5-5. Fort Wayne then took its first lead of the night in the sixth inning. Adamson, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI, drove home a pair of runs to give the TinCaps a 7-5 edge.
Fort Wayne batted around in the seventh and blew the game open with six runs, tying a season-best for runs in a frame. The home side then tacked on four more in the eighth, as 10 batters came to the plate.
The 17 runs scored for Fort Wayne were the most in a game for the franchise since June 24, 2003 at Beloit, and fell just one run short of the franchise record of 18. Meanwhile, the TinCaps 21 hits were their most since the 2011 Parkview Field season finale on September 2nd against South Bend, and also fell one shy of a Fort Wayne franchise best.
Also impressive in Fort Wayne's offensive outburst was a seven-strikeout relief appearance by Ruben Mejia, who earned his first win of the season after Fried allowed four runs in four innings. After surrendering one run in his first inning of work, Mejia settled in to fan seven consecutive batters over the course of his three innings.
The TinCaps and Lugnuts conclude their three-game series at Parkview Field on Sunday afternoon at 3:05. Justin Hancock, from Defiance, OH, is set to start for Fort Wayne against Lansing's Daniel Norris. The game can be seen on XFINITY Channel 81 and be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.