Fort Wayne, IN - Some things get better with time, and it appeared Thursday night at Parkview Field, that TinCaps starter Walker Weickel was a prime case of that time-tested saying. The righthander, in his 11th start of the season, picked up his first home win of 2013, leading the TinCaps to a 4-1 win over the Lake County Captains. Fort Wayne finishes the first half home schedule with a Midwest League-best 25-11 record.
Weickel (2-3) picked up his second straight victory throwing five shutout innings, striking out a career-high five batters and allowing just three hits. He induced seven ground-ball outs to just one fly-ball out of the fifteen outs he recorded. The Fort Wayne (41-24) offense supported him with an 11-hit attack, five of which were doubles.
Maxx Tissenbaum started the scoring with a first-inning RBI double off Lake County (21-42) starter Luis DeJesus (1-7). In the second inning, the TinCaps sent seven batters to the plate and scored three more times. Brian Adams hit an RBI double into the left-field corner, and Mallex Smith followed with an unconventional two-base RBI hit. The TinCaps' designated hitter blooped a ball into shallow centerfield that went untouched, leaving Smith standing at second. Once he realized no Captains defender went to cover third, he scampered the extra 90 feet. Alberth Martinez followed with an RBI single, making it 4-0 TinCaps.
The only other run of the game was an unearned run scored by Lake County in the seventh inning. Leonard Castillo singled and advanced to third on a two-base throwing error by Tissenbaum, who was playing second base. Three batters later, Erik Gonzalez singled home Castillo.
Although Fort Wayne has not hit a home run it its last ten games, the team has continued to display offensive proficiency. The TinCaps are 16-2 in their last 18 games, the best mark in Minor League Baseball since May 26, and have outscored their opposition 103-72 in that span.
Fort Wayne closes the first half with four games in three days at Fifth Third Ballpark, the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. Friday's game is scheduled to feature the TinCaps' Joe Ross against the Whitecaps Charlie Gillies, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.