Fort Wayne, IN -- For the first time in the 20-plus season history of the franchise, Fort Wayne threw a nine-inning no-hitter on Thursday night at Parkview Field against the Great Lakes Loons, as the TinCaps walked off with a 1-0 win. Starting pitcher Max Fried went the first five and two-thirds innings, while Matthew Shepherd, Leonel Campos, and Roman Madrid worked out of the bullpen to complete just the second-ever Fort Wayne no-hitter.
Simon Castro's seven-inning no-hitter against the Dayton Dragons on August 18, 2009, was the only previous Fort Wayne no-hitter since the club began play in 1993.
The history may have been for naught, however, if not for Brian Adams' game-winning walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. Great Lakes right-handed reliever Scott Griggs walked Dane Phillips to start the frame, and then hit both Gabriel Quintana and Alberth Martinez to load the bases. Adams saw four pitches that were all balls to plate Phillips for the game's lone run.
The 19-year old left-hander Fried was phenomenal, as he matched his career-best with eight strikeouts and came within an out of tying the longest start of his young career. Fried walked one batter in the first inning and another in the second before settling in to retire ten consecutive hitters, including six by strikeouts. The 6-4, 185-pound native of Encino, CA, struck out five straight across the third and fourth. All three Great Lakes hitters in the fourth went down looking. Fried left the game after walking Paul Hoenecke -- Fried's third walk issued -- with two outs in the sixth inning and his pitch count at 86.
Shepherd struck out Pat Stover for the final out of the sixth and then eluded trouble in the seventh. With two outs and no one on base, Jeremy Rathjen reached first after second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum committed an error on a groundball. Rathjen then successfully stole second base and advanced to third on the throw by catcher Dane Phillips that caromed off of Rathjen's back into right field. Shepherd shut the door on the Loons' threat, though, by inducing a popout to first base by Hoenecke.
Campos came in to strike out the side in order in the eighth. Madrid entered for the ninth and walked the first batter he faced, Jesmuel Valentín. However, the TinCaps' closer recovered after that to preserve the no-hitter and provide Fort Wayne's offense with the opportunity to win the game in its last turn to bat.
Offensively, the TinCaps were limited by Loons starter Jharel Cotton, who allowed four hits and no walks in seven innings. The righty fanned three.
Prior to the ninth, Fort Wayne's best chance to score came in the eighth against Griggs. After the first two batters were retired, Stephen Carmon walked, Corey Adamson doubled, and Maxx Tissenbaum was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jeremy Baltz struck out to end the threat.
The TinCaps' win Thursday was their second in a row in walk-off fashion following a 6-5 victory on Wednesday. Fort Wayne is 13-3 at Parkview Field on the season, including four walkoff wins.
The TinCaps and Loons wrap up their three-game set on Friday night at 7:05. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.