Greene blasts TinCaps into MWL semifinals

Padres catching prospect smacks walk-off homer in ninth inning

Fort Wayne celebrates after advancing to the semifinals in the Midwest League playoffs. (Fort Wayne TinCaps)

By Chris Tripodi / | September 7, 2017 11:04 PM ET

After San Diego's No. 7 prospect Michel Baez led Class A Fort Wayne to victory Wednesday night, Marcus Greene Jr. provided the heroics that sent the team into the semifinals.

Greene launched a two-run walk-off homer to lift the TinCaps to a 6-4 victory over the Hot Rods in Game 2 of their first-round series Thursday night. The catcher also singled and scored twice.

Gameday box score

Jack Suwinski homered to right-center field to lead off the bottom of the first inning, but that was the only run the TinCaps scored off Hot Rods starter Adrian Navas. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six frames.

Jim Haley's RBI single to short in the fourth off Pedro Avila tied the score. Bowling Green took a 4-1 lead in the fifth when Rays No. 8 prospect Josh Lowe plated a run with a single to right. The Hot Rods also scored on a groundout to second by Rene Pinto and a sacrifice fly to center by fourth-ranked Tampa prospect Jesus Sanchez.

Once Navas exited, Fort Wayne went to work against Bowling Green's bullpen. Suwinski hit a sacrifice fly to left in the seventh to score Reinaldo Ilarraza, who hit a one-out ground-rule double to left before advancing to third on a passed ball.

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Greene beat out a single to short to start the bottom of the eighth and scored on a groundout to short by Gabriel Arias. Ilarraza singled on a soft line drive to second to tie the game, 4-4.

Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts drew a walk with one out in the ninth after battling Hot Rods reliever Joe Serrapica (0-1) during a seven-pitch at-bat. Brad Zunica struck out to bring Greene to the plate, and the 23-year-old drove a 1-0 pitch over the center-field wall.

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Avila gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks with six whiffs over 4 1/3 innings. Three TinCaps relievers combined to yield two hits, a walk and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Andres Munoz (1-0) fanned two in the ninth to pick up the win. 

Luis Rengifo went 3-for-4 and Miles Mastrobuoni added two hits for Bowling Green.

In other MWL playoff action:

Kernels 7, Cougars 3

Jimmy Kerrigan went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Trey Cabbage hit a three-run homer during a six-run fourth as Cedar Rapids advanced to the semifinals. Box score

River Bandits 4, Chiefs 1

Astros No. 6 prospect Colin Moran went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI and reached base four times as Quad Cities evened its series with Peoria in Game 2. Cristian Javier allowed one run on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts over six innings. Box score

Dragons 2, Whitecaps 1

Reds No. 29 prospect Scott Moss yielded three hits without a walk and five whiffs over six scoreless innings to help Dayton force Game 3. Box score

Chris Tripodi is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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