FORT WAYNE — The TinCaps bounced back after dropping both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, scoring five runs in the first inning to roll to a 7-2 thrashing of Beloit on Sunday.
“Yeah, I don’t love having team meetings; we didn’t have one last night or today,” said Fort Wayne manager Jonathan Mathews on how he approached today’s game after losing four out of five games to the Sky Carp.
“There are times when there is a message I have to deliver, but we expect the same level of effort every day from them, and us as coaches, rather than riding some rollercoaster.”
In addition to an early offensive output, the TinCaps got strong pitching by Bodi Rascon and his piggyback partner Ryan Bergert. who combined for seven one-run innings.
“I thought my splitter and changeup paired well with my fastball today,” said a smiling Rascon post-game. “My slider wasn’t completely there, but I was getting a lot of weak ground balls, so I was happy.”
Rascon, who has had an up-and-down season, was certainly up today as he worked around four walks to pitch four one-run innings.
He was particularly impressive in his final inning, when he loaded the bases with no outs, and got out of only allowing a run while striking out two.
“In a couple of my past starts, I’ve thrown well, only to have that bad inning jump on me out of nowhere, and I didn’t want to let that happen again,” said Rascon. “I took a step back, got two strikeouts, and gave up a sac fly.
“I’ll take that any day in that situation.”
Bergert was even better, throwing 44 pitches, 33 for strikes over three innings of shutout work.
“From what I’ve seen this year, Bergert has been one of our most consistent guys whether he is starting or in relief,” said Matthews.
“In his last inning, he did an excellent job of just pounding the zone with his fastball, changeup, and sweeper.”
Offensively, Lucas Dunn and Cole Cummings had three hits each, with Cummings contributing a double and a triple.
“You just have to do it,” said left fielder Nathan Martorella who added a single to the TinCaps’ 14-hit attack a day after they were shut down. “You can’t think of yesterday, which was a long day, because you have a game coming up.
“With professional baseball, you take what you can from the last game and move on. There is always another game and you have to move forward.”
Notes: Mathews also praised the performance of Colton Bender behind the plate today, “He did a great job with all three of our pitchers today. He would get them back in the strike zone if he saw them losing a tick and make a mound visit when needed. I thought he handled those guys well today.” … With the TinCaps a little short-handed, Cummings, 24, has gotten an opportunity to play, and the former UC Santa Barbara Gaucho is now hitting .268/.375/.415. According to Mathews, Jackson Merrill will be in the lineup on Tuesday when the TinCaps go to Dayton.
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