FORT WAYNE – Backspin carried the ball into the camera well just to the left of the 400 Club in deep center at Parkview Field.
Only this wasn’t batting practice. This was the fifth inning of a one-run game.
Dustin Peterson’s grand slam gave the TinCaps a five-run lead, which turned out to be plenty in a 7-2 victory over Lansing on Thursday.
The TinCaps (29-37) snapped a four-game losing streak and denied Lansing (31-35) a three-game sweep.
But as dramatic as the majestic flight of the home run was the fact that Peterson hit it off Matt Dermody.
One swing of the bat got Peterson his revenge.
That doesn’t really faze me, he said.
No one had forgotten.
On May 23, Dermody enraged the TinCaps by drilling Peterson in the back of the helmet. The lefty was ejected for a pitch Peterson referred to as intentional and bush league.
Peterson had connected for a three-run shot off Dermody earlier that game.
Three weeks later, with his team holding a 2-1 lead with none out, Peterson drilled a 1-0 fastball that tailed over the middle of the plate.
I was happy about it, Peterson said. You could say I like facing that guy. I see the ball out of his hand. I was looking for a pitch I could drive. He threw one again in my wheelhouse.
In Dermody’s return, there were no brush-ups, only another rough outing. Dermody (3-3) gave up seven runs on seven hits.
Ronald Herrera (5-4) won his TinCaps home debut after five innings of one-run ball, his lone mistake an RBI single by L.B. Dantzler in the first.
I located my two-seam fastball inside and outside, Herrera said. I threw my change-up when behind in the count. It went good.
Justin Livengood saved Fort Wayne from having to dip further into a bullpen that worked 9 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series.
He went the final four innings Thursday and gave up his lone run on a double that right fielder Franmil Reyes lost in the lights.
TinCaps slugger Jake Bauers singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. That matches the longest streak since the team changed its name from the Wizards.
The kid is unbelievable right now, TinCaps outfielder Ronnie Richardson said.
Richardson drew a bases-loaded walk in front of Peterson, then heard a loud crack of the bat.
The grand slam was the 43rd in franchise history and first since Diego Goris connected on June 15 last year.
His probably lacked the back story of Peterson’s.
Whether that was extra motivation or not, good piece of hitting, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. I’m sure he (Peterson) hasn’t forgotten anything.
Note: Collins said Adrian De Horta will be sent down to short-season Eugene.