South Bend, Ind. Starting pitcher Brad Allen limited the Fort Wayne TinCaps to one hit over seven dominant innings as the South Bend Silver Hawks took the series opener 2-0 on Tuesday night. Left fielder Alex Glenn knocked in the first run of the game and scored the last run of the game in a two-run second inning for South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Allen and the Hawks bullpen took care of the game from there as they combined for a one-hit shutout. Fort Wayne (46-35, 3-9) only managed one baserunner through the first eight innings as Allen and reliever Kyle Schepel retired 24 of the 25 hitters they faced.
Allen (3-4) wasted no time getting himself back on track after a poor outing last time out, striking out the first batter he faced, shortstop Everth Cabrera. Cabrera, who is leading the National League in steals with 31, is with the TinCaps as part of a rehab assignment from the San Diego Padres as he works his way back from a hamstring injury. He shut the TinCaps offense down completely through the first 5 1/3 innings as he retired the first sixteen batters that he faced. Fort Wayne catcher Rodney Daal broke up Allen’s bid for a perfect game with a clean single up the middle with one out in the top of the sixth inning.
South Bend (52-30, 8-5), scored the game’s only runs in the second. Center fielder Breland Almadova led off the inning by reaching first base on an infield single to second that TinCaps second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum was unable to corral. Glenn followed by ripping a double into the right field corner off Fort Wayne starter Walker Weickel (2-4), scoring Almadova all the way from first base. Glenn would move over to third on the play as TinCaps right fielder Corey Adamson threw wild to the cutoff man. Designated hitter Mike Lang took advantage of the error by hitting a ground ball to shortstop that scored Glenn for the 2-0 Hawks lead.
Both pitching staffs dominated the rest of the way through their outings. Allen allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings while striking out four. Weickel was the hard-luck loser of the game as he went six innings and struck out six Hawks allowing only four hits and two earned runs. Kyle Schepel came on in relief of Allen and threw a perfect eighth inning. Matthew Chabot threw two scoreless innings, including four strikeouts, for Fort Wayne, the Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, in relief of Weickel.
The TinCaps mounted their only threat of the night in the ninth inning. Jose Jose (S, 2) came on to close the game out for the Hawks. He hit Daal to lead off the ninth inning. Jose then struck out the next two batters. Adamson worked a two-out walk to put two on with two out. Tissenbaum then also walked to load the bases for clean-up hitter Chris Burke. Burke put a good swing on a two-strike pitch but shortstop Andrew Velazquez made a great leaping catch to save two runs and end the game.
The two teams conclude the short two-game series on Wednesday night at 7:35pm. Zach Eflin (4-4, 3.31 ERA) will start the game for the TinCaps while Midwest League wins leader, Daniel Watts (10-3, 3.45 ERA), takes the mound for the Silver Hawks. Come see the fireworks spectacular after the game as the Silver Hawks invite everyone to come celebrate an early Independence Day at Coveleski Regional Stadium.