A second inning triple off Will Inman scored the first run of the game and a two out homer in the third against the right-hander put Midland up 2-0. He would retire nine straight after the dinger before a two out single in the sixth. He would yield two runs on four hits and a walk across six frames, striking out four. Inman went 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA last season during the Missions playoff run. He allowed five runs across 3.2 innings.
Logan Forsythe delivered a sacrifice fly to drive in Anthony Contreras in the third. Contreras than brought home the eventual winning run an inning later, smacking a single to center to score Seth Johnston who doubled in a run. The final run came on a Cedric Hunter homer. Hunter hit .355 across seven playoff games for the Storm last season with five RBI and five runs scored. Contreras, meanwhile, hit .236 for the Storm last season with six runs scored and three RBI.
The bullpen closed the door with three scoreless frames. Evan Scribner earned the save, striking out the side around a single in the ninth. Mike DeMark and Brandon Gomes each worked a scoreless frame. Scribner went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA across four playoff games with the Storm last year, not allowing a hit across 3.1 innings. Gomes went 0-1 with a 4.15 across three games. DeMark posted a 4.50 ERA across two innings for the Missions last year.
Lake Elsinore lost 3-0 to Rancho Cucamonga (lost series, 2-0)
Wynn Pelzer tossed bullets over seven innings, yielding three hits and three walks while striking out seven. The right-hander induced nine ground ball outs and worked around a pair of sacrifice bunts that put men in scoring position. The Quakes were 0-for-9 off Pelzer with men in scoring position. The opposition hit .277 off him with runners in scoring position during the regular season.
Closer Byran Oland came on in a tie game in the ninth and the right-hander was tagged for three runs on four hits. He came into the game having allowed runs in 11 of his 53 appearances for the Storm this season, giving up more than three hits just twice. He had surrendered just two hits across his last six innings with 11 strikeouts.
Third baseman James Darnell missed both games with a sore back.
Fort Wayne lost 12-7 to South Bend (1-1, best of three)
Erik Davis lasted just 2.2 innings, pulled with nine runs charged to his ledger while only three were earned. He gave up six hits and four walks but two fielding errors extended the inning. He left with the bases loaded but a double off Rob Musgrave brought everyone home. Fourteen men came to the plate in the pivotal third.
Vince Belnome, who had one of the two errors in the third, homered to leadoff the second inning. He would go 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Cole Figueroa, who also committed an error in the fateful third, drove in two runs, going 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Belnome would make two errors on a day that saw the TinCaps make five overall.
Eduardo Perez contributed 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out four.
Jaff Decker was ejected to open the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes after getting called out on strikes to end the third.
The TinCaps had been 8-0 against South Bend at Fort Wayne and Davis, who took the loss, was 8-1 at Parkview Field. The TinCaps have not won a series since 1998. The rubber game will decide the series.
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