Key Statistics: 2B Stubblefield 1-3, BB; RF Ascensio 2-4, 2B, RBI; DH Whitmore 1-3, RBI; RHP Needy 6.0 IP 5 H 2 R 2 ER 5 BB 7 K; De La Cruz (L) 0.1 IP H 2 R 2 ER BB.
FORT WAYNE – In game four of the Midwest League championship series the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 4-2, winning the Midwest League title. Fort Wayne ended its fourth straight playoff run with an overall record of 74-75, having reached the league championship series for the second time in franchise history.
A 2-2 tie was broken in the top of the seventh inning when Wisconsin's Nick Ramirez, who finished the postseason hitting .310, drove a two-run double to right field, scoring Brandon Macias and Ben McMahan. Fort Wayne could not recover, its final nine batters of the game being retired in order to end the season.
The Timber Rattlers got on the board just two batters into the game. Macias led off with a double to center field, and was plated on an RBI single by Chadwin Stang. Max Walla hit a solo home run off of TinCaps starter James Needy, giving Wisconsin a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Needy worked six innings in his third and final start of the postseason. The 21-year-old allowed two runs on five hits, struck out seven and walked five.
Fort Wayne evened the score with back-to-back run-scoring at bats in the third inning. Yeison Asencio doubled home Jace Peterson, and Travis Whitmore followed with a sacrifice fly to pull the game to a tie, 2-2. Following that third inning, the TinCaps would record just one more base hit on the night. The side was set down in order in five of the next six innings.
Wisconsin won the series, 3-1, taking one game at home and the final two at Parkview Field.
TinCaps reliever Brandon Alger surrendered the two-run double to Ramirez, although the runs were charged to Luis De La Cruz, who had allowed a double and a walk preceding Alger's entrance into the game. Johnny Barbato and Matt Stites combined to work the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out a combined five batters and walking none.
The Sunday attendance of 2,390 raised the season attendance to 408, 044, which is a new record in the 20-year history of the Fort Wayne franchise. The previous high attendance mark was set in 2010, at 407, 394.
Courtesy of Mike Couzens, Media Director of the Fort Wayne TinCaps>/i>