Fort Wayne, IN -- Diego Goris delivered in the clutch for the TinCaps again on Sunday. For the third time this season, the infielder from the Dominican Republic provided a walk-off hit to lead Fort Wayne to victory. In front of a sold-out crowd of 7,904 fans at Parkview Field, Goris came through with a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Alberth Martinez and give the TinCaps a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Dayton Dragons.
Fort Wayne (18-31, 61-57) entered the ninth inning trailing, 3-2, before pulling off its 24th comeback win of the year. Tyler Stubblefield led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right field against reliever Werleen Taveras (1-1). Brian Adams then followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Stubblefield to third base. With one out, manager José Valentín sent up Martinez to pinch-hit for catcher Miguel Del Castillo. Martinez made his skipper look wise with a hit through the right side of the infield that plated Stubblefield to tie the game, 3-3. After Mallex Smith struck out, Valentín turned to his bench again for the 21-year-old Goris to hit in place of second baseman Reynaldo Bruguera.
Goris' single was his third walk-off hit of the season. No other TinCaps player has more than one walk-off hit this year. Fort Wayne now has nine walk-off wins in 2013, although Sunday was only the club's second in the season's second half. Goris, who was acquired by San Diego through the Rule 5 Draft in December, also had the TinCaps' last walk-off hit before Sunday on June 21 against South Bend.
Fort Wayne needed the ninth-inning magic after Dayton (27-23, 55-64) had scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead. Tanner Rahier, who had the Dragons first RBI of the game in the sixth inning, singled off Chris Nunn to score a pair.
Earlier in the game, the TinCaps held leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Luis Domoromo singled in the bottom of the fourth to score Hunter Renfroe for the game's first run. After Dayton tied the game, Renfroe homered on the first pitch of the home sixth to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 edge. The long ball was Renfroe's first as a TinCap. The 13th overall selection in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft just arrived in Fort Wayne Saturday night from Short-Season-A Eugene.
Renfroe, who finished 2-for-4 for the second straight game, also made a highlight-caliber defensive play in right field to end the top of the seventh and keep the TinCaps comeback within reach. The Dragons had runners at first and second base when Daniel Pigott served a ball to the wall in right. The former Mississippi State Bulldog leapt up against the green-padded, 15-foot high wall to rob Pigott of what likely would have been a run-scoring extra-base hit.
Reliever Roman Madrid (6-3) received credit for the win after throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Though he didn't factor into the decision, 19-year-old starter Zach Eflin continued his recent run of success with 5 1/3 innings and no earned runs allowed to lower his season ERA to 2.67. Eflin scattered four hits and two walks, while striking out five.
Fort Wayne and Dayton conclude their three-game set at Parkview Field on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Max Fried (5-5, 3.46) is scheduled to start for the TinCaps against Sal Romano (6-8, 4.65) of the Dragons. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.