Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps pitcher Gabe Mosser delivers to home plate during the fourth inning against Lake County at Parkview Field on Tuesday night.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps right fielder Agustin Ruiz leads off first base in the second inning against Lake County at Parkview Field on Tuesday.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps shortstop Justin Lopez bats in the first inning against Lake County at Parkview Field on Tuesday.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps shortstop Justin Lopez throws to first to finish a double play in the third inning Tuesday night at Parkview Field.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps first baseman Lee Solomon prepares to catch the ball as a Lake County player dives for the bag in the fourth inning at Parkview Field on Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 05, 2019 1:00 am
TinCaps 4, Lake County 3
TinCaps bounce back after break
Get win after 1st day off in 20 days to snap 3-game losing streak
DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps vs. Lake County
Where: Parkview Field
When: 7:05 p.m.
Pitchers: Joey Cantillo (TinCaps) vs. Cody Morris (Captains)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM
The TinCaps finally got a day off Monday, following 20 straight days on the field, and they played like a renewed team Tuesday night.
Blake Hunt went 2 for 3 with an RBI triple, Gabe Mosser turned in a quality start and the TinCaps rallied late to defeat the second-place Lake County Captains 4-3 in front of an announced crowd of 3,871 at Parkview Field.
The music was loud in the clubhouse after the game and a grinning Hunt said the team was in high spirits after a bounce-back victory that wiped away the memory of a three-game sweep at the hands of Great Lakes over the weekend.
“We threw away that series (against Great Lakes), we learned from it, we moved on,” Hunt said. “We set a new standard tonight, we came out with energy. Not from the get-go, but we figured it out and sometimes that happens. Over 140 (games), that's going to count.”
The winning rally came in the eighth. The TinCaps entered the inning trailing 3-2, but Aldemar Burgos knotted the score with a sharp single to left. Hunt nearly drove in the go-ahead run with a ringing liner off the wall in left, but the runners got late jumps and the catcher settled for a single. That left Agustin Ruiz to bring in the winning tally with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Burgos.
“That was just passing the wand from guy to guy,” Hunt said of the decisive rally. “It's like just go up there and have a quality at-bat and that's what we're preaching right now. Just finding any way to get on and that's what we did.”
The TinCaps fell behind 3-0 after Will Benson ripped a two-run triple off Mosser in the fourth and added an RBI single in the sixth.
Fort Wayne responded in the bottom of the sixth, scoring twice with two outs. Justin Lopez drove home Burgos with a double deep to the gap in right-center and Hunt followed with a softly hit line drive that found grass in right field for an RBI triple.
Mosser continued his hot stretch, giving up two earned runs over 62/3 innings and striking out eight without a walk. His slider was devastating, breaking hard and late and getting some ugly swings.
“These guys don't know what's coming out of the hand,” manager Anthony Contreras said of Mosser's fastball-slider combo. “When you don't know what's coming and it looks like a fastball, they're trying to cheat and get to it and then it just slides away.”
The 22-year-old right-hander has struck out 22 and walked two in his last three starts.
Austin Smith worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to earn his second save of the season. The powerful right-hander has pitched 10 consecutive scoreless innings over his last five appearances, striking out 14 and walking two in that span.
“I'm just really working with the coaches on my throwing program,” Smith said. “Staying focused during that and just going out there with confidence and having fun.”
Tonight's performance lowered Smith's ERA to 1.89 and his final pitch was 96 mph. He had a little extra adrenaline pitching in a high-leverage situation for one of the first times this season.
“I was down there (in the bullpen) shaking,” Smith said, laughing.