FORT WAYNE — The TinCaps dropped the series finale to the Dayton Dragons 8-0 and lost five out of the six games in the series. The drubbing came after they beat the Lansing Lugnuts five out of six on the road in the previous series and took four from South Bend in the one before.
Unfortunately, little went right Sunday as the TinCaps’ total of three errors outpaced the two hits – both singles – their offense managed.
No one had a worse series than outfielder Joshua Mears. Coming off a series in which he absolutely demolished Lansing with five home runs and two doubles in six games, the powerful outfielder struck out 18 times in 25 plate appearances with one walk and no hits on the homestand.
Sunday, he got the Golden Sombrero with four strikeouts in all four plate appearances.
“He was unbelievable in finding the barrel in Lansing, and there were some two-strike home runs, and this group saw it,” said TinCaps’ manager Brian Esposito before the game.
“These guys were better in their execution of the pitches, the arms were a little bit better, and they challenged him, and Joshua needs to be challenged. You learn the most valuable lessons when you face guys that are good and will challenge you and how to grow.
“Guys are not going to just throw pitches over the middle of the plate, they are going to try to force you to expand the zone, and he’s going to learn how to commit to his plan and make adjustments.”
Lefty Robert Gasser got the start and had some success with nine strikeouts in four innings with no walks. Gasser throws in the low to mid-90s but has an arm slot that makes it difficult to pick up the release point. Occasionally, the ball is flat in the zone, which can lead to hard contact and affect his command. Sunday, he gave up six hits, three of them doubles, for four earned runs.
Notes: Corey Rosier reached base in two of his four plate appearances, a single and a hit-by-pitch, and the leadoff hitter pushed his on-base-percentage up to .398, good for 10th in the Midwest League. … Robert Hassell III struck out twice, only the second time he has whiffed multiple times all season. … Fort Wayne will get a well-needed day off before opening a six-game series in Appleton against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Right-hander Ryan Bergert is expected to take the mound for the TinCaps Tuesday.