“One of the things the Padres try to do is draft for PETCO Park and that means speed,” said TinCaps manager Shawn Wooten.
“As you can see when the air comes in here it gets kind of heavy and that really helps us.”
“I pride myself in that our team runs hard every single time.”
On Friday night they rapped out a season high twenty-one hits, and shut out South Bend in their 12-0 victory before a sell-out crowd in the final home game of the year.
The TinCaps opened the game with Noel hitting a sharp ground ball to the third baseman. With his speed any bobble or hesitation is going to be close. The third baseman overthrew first and Rico advanced to second.
2b Corey Spangenburg then laid down a perfect drag bunt down the first base line to put runners on the corners with no outs. After Liriano struck out, LF Luis Domoromo brought home the first run of the game with a ground out to second followed up by 1b Connor Powers two out single to right to make it 2-0.
The fourth inning is when the TinCaps broke the game open starting off with three straight singles. 3b Chris Bisson then hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that brought home two.
Bisson who is hitting who is hitting .316/.420/.368 since moving to 3b with the promotion of Spangenburg to go along with twenty stolen bases on the season, talked about the speed in the TinCaps lineup.
“ [BJ] Guinn and I are at the bottom of the order and are kind of extra lead-off hitters,” said Bisson.
“Its a great situation in our lineup because we kind of have four leadoff hitters and our MVP has 62 stolen bases, so yeah there is some speed.”
Bisson was 2-4 on the night with a pair of RBIs and a walk.
Fort Wayne finished off the fourth inning with four runs and added another four runs in the sixth on Fan Appreciation Day.
On the mound LHP Mark Hardy tossed seven scoreless innings only allowing three hits. Relief pitchers RHP Robert Lara and RHP Deiber Sanchez pitched the eighth and ninth to preserve the shutout.
“Hardy gets ahead and keeps the ball down,” said Wooten.
“He mixes speeds, has good sink and doesn’t get the ball up. He does the things a lefty needs to do.”
Tonight’s win by Fort Wayne tied them with West Michigan for the final playoff spot. The final series of the season is with the WhiteCaps on their field. The team that wins the series advances to the playoffs.
“This is what it is all about. Putting kids in these types of positions is really going to help their development and learn how to control their nerves in big situations.”