Four-Run Sixth Inning Highlights Wizards' 8-5 Win
FORT WAYNE, IN---The Fort Wayne Wizards snapped a 4-4 tie with South Bend by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday afternoon, going on to defeat the Silver Hawks by a final score of 8-5, in front of 5,642 fans at Memorial Stadium.
South Bend scored first in this contest, when Sean Coughlin belted a two-out, two-run home run off Fort Wayne starting pitcher Mat Latos in the top of the first inning.
The Wizards got one of those runs back in the bottom of the first, on a bases-loaded walk issued to Yefri Carvajal by Silver Hawk starter Jordan Norberto.
They tied the score at 2-2 on Luis Martinez' second home run of the season, a solo blast over the wall in right field.
In the bottom of the third inning, a double by Carvajal scored Angel Mercado from second base, and gave Fort Wayne their first lead of the game at 3-2.
It became 4-2, following Luis Durango's first home run of 2008 leading off the bottom of the fourth inning.
South Bend used the long ball to get back in the game, as solo home runs by Konrad Schmidt and Coughlin (his second home run of the day) in the fifth and sixth inning, respectively, tied the score at 4-4.
The Wizards regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning at the expense of Silver Hawk relief pitcher Dan Fournier.
With two outs and Drew Cumberland on at second base (via a single and stolen base), Fournier gave up consecutive singles to Mercado, Justin Baum, Carvajal, Andy Parrino, and Felix Carrasco; hits that produced four runs, and an 8-4 Fort Wayne lead.
Wizard relievers Tyler Davis and Derek McDaid made the lead stand up, as they combined to limit South Bend to just one run and two hits over the final three innings, as Fort Wayne was able to salvage a split of the four-game series with the Silver Hawks.
Geoff Vandel (1-1), who replaced Latos on the mound and got the final out of the sixth inning, received credit for the victory, while Fournier (0-1), who gave up the four Wizard runs in the bottom of the sixth, was tagged with the loss.
Having won five of the eight games played on the now completed home stand, Fort Wayne will travel to Midland, MI on Monday to begin a four-game series with the Great Lakes Loons, the only team they have yet to see in the 2008 season.
Monday night's series opener will feature right hand pitchers Wynn Pelzer (3-2, 3.86) of the Wizards and Daigoro Rondon (2-4, 6.19) of the Loons.
The game can be heard on both the radio (ESPN Radio 1380) and the Internet (www.fortwaynewizards.com), beginning with the Hupe Insurance Services Pre-Game Show at 6:45 p.m. (EDT).
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