Fort Wayne, Ind. — A night after failing to get a key hit with runners in scoring position, the TinCaps jumped out to an early lead and rode another excellent pitching performance to victory on Saturday. Starter Gabe Mosser threw seven strong innings, tying a career-high, while home runs from Seamus Curran and Chris Givin provided the firepower for the 5-4 victory.
A frustrated manager Anthony Contreras noted Friday night that the team was taking good at-bats, but the results were not there. That changed quickly as, five batters into the game, Curran crushed a fastball to the right-field seats to put the TinCaps up 3-0. The home run had an exit velocity of 110 mph, his hardest hit ball of the year, and it left the park so fast that the right fielder never had a chance to turn around.
“I was out there early this afternoon taking extra batting practice with [hitting coach Jonathan] Mathews,” said Curran in a post-game zoom. “By the end of it, I felt like I got my home run swing back. Man, did it feel good to see that translate in the first at bat.”
An inning later Givin hit a wind-aided home run, that just cleared the left field fence. That two-run shot gave the TinCaps a 5-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
Mosser was locked in and for seven innings he never looked up. He relied almost solely on his sinker down in the zone that the super-aggressive Captains swung on top of. While he would try to mix-and-match his off-speed pitches, it would speed up their bats and get him in trouble. He gave up a hard-hit double and single, both on off-speed pitches, that led to the lone Captains run. However, immediately after, he went back to the sinker and got out of the inning without further damage.
“Gabe really used his sinker effectively,” said Contreras post-game. ” We knew going in that they were going to be extremely aggressive on the fastball, so when Gabe was hitting his spots early in the count, they were pounding it right into the ground.”
The Captains did get three runs back in the eighth when former Padre prospect Victor Nova hit a three-run home run. Immediately after, Contreras went to one of his closers, Carter Loewen, for the four-out save. Loewen obliged by getting the last out of the eighth, and a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
“We have faith in our closers. Loewen is a power arm that really attacks hitters. He fills up the zone, and it is hard to face someone pounding 95-96 when they are able to hit their spots,” said a relieved Contreras.
With the win, the TinCaps improved to 25-33, and 9-4 in one run games.