SOUTH BEND — The South Bend Silver Hawks (46-34 overall, 6-5 second half) bludgeoned their way to a 10-3 Midwest League baseball victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (35-45, 5-6) in a rain-shortened game Monday, June 30, at Four Winds Field.
Third baseman Marty Herum hit a bases clearing double in the bottom of the second and laced an inside-the-park-homer in the bottom of the seventh as he drove in five on the night to lead the Hawks offense.
The game was called in the bottom of the eighth inning as a massive thunderstorm put an end to baseball for the night.
The Hawks put this game away early as they put up six runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a six-run lead. The first three batters reached to load the bases as second baseman Jamie Westbrook singled between walks to right fielder Stryker Trahan and catcher Michael Perez.
This brought up Herum who ripped the ball into the right-center field gap to score all three runners and give the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
Herum proceeded to score on back-to-back wild pitches by Fort Wayne starter Erik Cabrera (L, 3-6) to make it 4-0. The inning was not over as left fielder Chuck Taylor worked a two-out walk before first baseman Daniel Palka launched a home run down the right field line for a 6-0 advantage. Palka’s shot was initially ruled foul but after a conversation between the two umpires, it was ruled a home run.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, extended the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Designated hitter Joe Munoz, in his first game back from the disabled list, led off by beating out an infield single to short and Trahan followed up with a line drive single to right that put runners at the corners.
Westbrook popped out for the first out of the inning before Perez walked again to load the bases. Herum could not drive the runs home this time as he struck out but center fielder Breland Almadova lined a two-run single to center for an 8-0 Hawks lead.
Fort Wayne, the Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, finally broke through for a couple of runs off of Hawks starter Sean Furney (W, 3-4) in the top of the sixth inning.
Designated hitter Dustin Peterson led off with a solo homer to left center that cut the Hawks lead to 8-1. After Furney retired the next two hitters, the inning was extended when second baseman River Stevens reached second on a two-base throwing error by Hawks’ shortstop Andrew Velazquez.
Left fielder Nick Schulz drove in Stevens with a line drive single to right that made it 8-2. Furney retired right fielder Edwin Moreno on a force out to end the inning and conclude his outing. He went six innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out six to earn the victory.
The TinCaps cut the lead to 8-3 with a run in the top of the seventh off of Hawks reliever Nick Sarianides. Shortstop Josh VanMeter doubled with one out and Peterson drove him in with a two-out line drive single to right. This was as close as the TinCaps would get in the game as the Hawks scored two more in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 10-3 game.
With two outs, Perez walked for the fourth time in the game. Herum followed with a line shot to center that knuckled on Fort Wayne center fielder Ronnie Richardson. Richardson dove and missed the ball and it went all the way to the wall for a two-run inside-the-park homerun.
The Silver Hawks celebrate Canada Day Tuesday, July 1, with the first of three games against the Great Lakes Loons, the Class-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Dow Diamond. John Omahen (3-2, 3.41) is scheduled to start for South Bend, and Zachary Bird (4-9, 4.09) gets the ball for Great Lakes.
The Hawks return home to celebrate Independence Day with a 7:35 p.m. start on the Fourth of July against the Lake County Captains, the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
A fireworks spectacular is scheduled after Friday’sgame. The Hawks will be celebrating America’s birthday all weekend as there are more fireworks after Saturday night’s game as well as a flat screen television being given away every inning.
The first 750 fans through the gate on both Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6, will receive a Silver Hawks patriotic T-shirt.
On Sunday, the Hawks will also welcome a baseball celebrity to the park as Jose Canseco will be in attendance and will compete in a pregame Home Run Derby with three Hawks fans. It is a Swoop Troop and Family Day on Sunday but there will be no pregame catch on the field because of the Home Run Derby. However, the Hawks will still hold a post-game autograph session after the game for fans.