Nathan Culp was tagged for five runs on four hits and four walks across three innings, giving up two homers that accounted for four of the runs. He notched seven ground ball outs and only one other ball besides the dingers was hit in the air. Culp went 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA across two starts in the California League playoffs a season ago. It is the third time this year he has given up more than one homer in a game.
Matt Buschmann delivered three scoreless frames to give the Missions a chance but the offense was stagnant until the ninth. Buschmann was 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA during the playoffs last season for the Storm.
Eric Sogard produced the lone San Antonio RBI through the first eight frames with a fifth inning single that scored Anthony Contreras who reached via an error. Sogard would deliver a bases loaded single, his third hit of the night, in the ninth to score a run and came around to score on Cedric Hunter's third hit of the game – a bases clearing double that brought the Missions within one.
Sogard hit .467 for the Storm last year during the playoffs, driving in six while scoring a team-high 10 runs. Hunter is 6-for-12 in this series with three doubles, a homer, and four RBI.
Fort Wayne won 5-4 over South Bend (Diamondbacks), winning the series 2-1
Cole Figueroa smacked a two out double with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, turning a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. They would load the bases again but Yefri Carvajal would pop out to end the frame.
The rally began with a triple high off the left field wall from Kevin Hansen – the lone player in the lineup to record multiple hits. After a ground out and two walks loaded the bases, Vince Belnome laces a single to left to score one, setting up Figueroa's at-bat. Figueroa, who drilled a 0-1 pitch down the left field line, led the squad with four RBI across the three game series.
The TinCaps got a run in the fifth on a solo homer from Allan Dykstra. Blake Tekotte turned a leadoff walk into a run an inning later when Jaff Decker knocked him in. Belnome, Tekotte and Dan Robertson all scored three runs during the series.
Nick Schumacher earned the victory, working three scoreless frames. He allowed two hits, struck out three and induced four ground ball outs. Schumacher earned the hold in the TinCaps first win. Brad Brach earned both saves in the series, giving up one hit in his lone inning of work this time out.
Fort Wayne will take on Great Lakes in the second round in another best of three set.
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