Better Late Than Never
All night, it looked as though the TinCaps would be without any coffee. Coffee, after all, is for closers. And until the ninth inning Friday night, the TinCaps had not been able to seal the deal with runners in scoring position. At one point last night, in game two of a three-game series against Kane County, Fort Wayne was 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. A 7% success rate that seemed nearly impossible.
But then the ninth inning happened.
Alberth Martinez, Mallex Smith and Maxx Tissenbaum all reached to load the bases with nobody out. Tissenbaum had a bit of help from Kane County first baseman Dan Vogelbach, who fumbled a bouncer to first, but the TinCaps had had help all night, as the Cougars committed five errors. It wasn’t until this penultimate inning that they took advantage of the aid.
Diego Goris – RBI single.
Gabriel Quintana – Two run double.
The game was still 5-4, in favor of Kane County.
Luis Tejada then came through with an RBI single, tying the game at 5.
Onto the 10th, and the first extra-inning game of the year for the TinCaps.
Roman Madrid, who is the team’s closer, struck out three batters in the top of the inning.
Rodney Daal singled to begin the inning, but was thrown out in a double play on a deep fly ball to right. Hope had flashed, and then simmered int the matter of two batters.
But then–Mallex Smith walked, stole second with Maxx Tissenbaum at the plate, and Tissenbaum drew a walk, too.
In his only at-bat of the night, Stephen Carmon would need to get on base, or deliver a hit. The lefty Carmon, facing Cougars righty Eddie Orozco, took strike one. Then he took strike two.
Then, he drove a two-strike pitch into center field, scoring Smith and bringing the TinCaps a win.
The team mobbed Carmon, hoisting him to their shoulders beyond second base in a celebration fitting of October rather than April, but no one seemed to mind. This team has seemingly formed a special bond after the majority of them put together the best record in the Northwest League last season. The walk-off win was the first for the TinCaps since a Travis Jankowski single to right that defeated Wisconsin last July 14th. Instead of a first-round pick, this time it was a 10th rounder. And nobody seemed to notice. They were all just happy with the win.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from TinCaps closer Roman Madrid, who entered last night’s game on uncertain terms in a tie, only to pick up his first Midwest League win:
Simon and Garfunkel…take it away!