Fort Wayne TinCaps (7-11) at West Michigan Whitecaps (10-8)
RHP Jesse Scholtens (2.00) vs. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (6.17)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017— Fifth Third Ballpark (Comstock Park, Mich.) — First Pitch 12:00 p.m. — Game 17
LAST NIGHT: Eguy Rosario recorded 2 hits and Marcus Greene Jr. had an RBI double, but the TinCaps fell to the Whitecaps, 4-2, in the opener of their 3-game series. West Michigan built a 3-0 lead with a pair in the third and another in the fourth. Although Hansel Rodriguez had a quality start with only 2 earned runs allowed in 6 innings, his counterpart, Greg Soto, blanked Fort Wayne for 6.
BIG-LEAGUE HELP: Former Major Leaguer Skip Schumaker is with the TinCaps this series. Schumaker, who played in the bigs from 2005-15 for the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Reds, is a Player Development & Baseball Operations Assistant for the Padres. He joined San Diego’s front office last June. As an outfielder/second baseman, Schumaker won 2 World Series with the Cardinals in 2006 (against the Tigers) and 2011 (against the Rangers).
WAKE UP: The TinCaps and Whitecaps play at noon both today and tomorrow. Fort Wayne is 4-2 during the day through its first 18 games.
HOMECOMING: Reliever Ben Sheckler is back home. The 6-8 lefty is from Sparta, Mich., which is immediately to the north of Comstock Park. He says his house is no more than a 15-minute drive from the ballpark. Sheckler grew up going to Whitecaps games. In fact, in 2015, Sheckler, who stayed nearby for college at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, attended a playoff game here between the TinCaps and Whitecaps. He left tickets for about 35 friends/family members last night. A contingent from Cornerstone came, too.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Jack Suwinski is tied for the MWL lead in walks (14)… Eguy Rosario is tied for 5th in doubles (5)… Rosario and Fernando Tatis Jr. are tied for 5th in stolen bases (5).
AS A TEAM: TinCaps pitchers have the highest strikeout rate in the MWL with 185 Ks in 164.1 IP… Offensively, the TinCaps are tied for the 2nd most stolen bases (22) and have drawn the 3rd most walks (73, 4.1/G).
AGAINST FUNKHOUSER: The TinCaps faced Kyle Funkhouser at Parkview Field last Wednesday afternoon. The righty threw 87 pitches in 4.2 IP. Fort Wayne scored 2 runs (only 1 earned), going 4-for-19 with 1 walk. He struck out 9. Hudson Potts had an RBI triple, while Reinaldo Ilarraza had an RBI infield single… MLB.com ranks Funkhouser as the No. 6 prospect in the Tigers’ farm system. He’s the highest-rated player the Whitecaps have.
BACK IN FORT WAYNE: The Parkview Sports High School Baseball Series continues with the second of 6 doubleheaders today at Parkview Field. Whitko plays Lakewood Park Christian at 4:30. Heritage and Woodlan meet at 7. The series will continue May 2-5.