FORT WAYNE, IN - Delayed by inclement weather for one entire day and an additional hour and 28 minutes on another, the Fort Wayne TinCaps nevertheless shook off the rain drops and defeated Bowling Green by a score of 6-3 on Thursday night at Parkview Field, thus taking a one-game to none lead over the Hot Rods, in the best-of-three opening round series of the Midwest League playoffs.
Fort Wayne wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, as run-scoring singles by Luis Domoromo and Mike Gallic against Bowling Green starting pitcher George Jensen in the bottom of the first inning gave the TinCaps a 2-0 lead.
The Hot Rods cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth inning while facing Fort Wayne starter Matt Jackson.
Phil Wunderlich doubled with one out, moved to third base on a passed ball charged to TinCap catcher Rocky Gale, then scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Keith Castillo to bring Bowling Green to within 2-1.
Gallic got that run for Fort Wayne in the bottom of the fourth, when he belted a 3-2 pitch from Jensen over the wall in left field for his first home run as a TinCap, making the score 3-1.
The score remained 3-1 until Fort Wayne came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.
They sent eight batters to the plate and scored three times in taking a 6-1 advantage, with the key plays being a run-scoring single by Rico Noel, and a two-run single by Rymer Liriano.
The Hot Rods scored twice in the eighth inning off TinCap relief pitcher Robert Eisenbach to close to within 6-3, but, fellow relievers Chris Franklin and Kevin Quackenbush combined to keep Bowling Green off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Jackson (1-0 in the playoffs and 6-1 overall) picked up the win, while Jensen (0-1 and 13-5, respectively) suffered the loss, with Quackenbush collecting his first playoff save and his 10th save altogether, in 10 save opportunities for Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps now have a one-game lead in the best-of-three series, with game two (and three, if necessary) taking place in Bowling Green.
The pitching match-up for game two has Mark Hardy (11-10, 2.78 in the regular season) starting for Fort Wayne, and Victor Mateo (12-6, 3.98 in the regular season) going for the Hot Rods.
The game is scheduled to begin on Friday at 8:05 p.m. in Fort Wayne.