FORT WAYNE – Dustin Peterson thought a strike had to finally be on the way.
He was right and ready.
Peterson drilled a single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday, handing the TinCaps a 10-9 victory over Dayton in a game they trailed 8-3 after six innings.
Peterson has delivered the final blow in two of the team’s six walk-off wins.
It’s game experience, being in those situations and understanding that it’s a confidence-booster and can help in the future, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said.
Ronnie Richardson came to bat after a pitching change with one out and the bases loaded. He took four straight out of the zone from Dragons right-hander Zack Weiss to tie it at 9.
Right there, my only thought was to get a ball up that I could drive into the outfield, Richardson said. I knew Pedey behind me is hitting the ball extremely well right now.
Peterson, who went 4 for 6, got ahead 2-0 and prepared for his pitch.
At 2-0, I knew he had to throw a strike, the third baseman said. He threw one good enough for me to hit and I drove it in.
Jake Bauers, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, hit his sixth homer leading off the ninth.
The guy rakes, flat out, Peterson said.
Bauers is hitting .373 and has driven in 34 runs in 49 games as a TinCap.
We got Baby Bambino’ in the lineup absolutely demolishing the baseball right now, Richardson said in reference to Bauers. He’s been doing that all year. It’s not even surprising anymore. It’s kind of expected now.
The TinCaps (33-41) started their rally by stringing together three straight run-scoring hits in the seventh to cut into an 8-3 deficit.
Franmil Reyes hit an RBI single and scored on Bauers’ double. Adolfo Reina then delivered an RBI single.
Dayton (37-36) extended its lead to 9-6 in the top of the eighth before Richardson scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half.
Alejandro Chacin (4-2) gave up back-to-back base hits to Reina and Ryan Miller following Bauers’ long ball.
Henry Charles sacrificed them into scoring position. Chacin intentionally walked River Stevens and then was pulled for Weiss.
Miller’s team-leading seventh homer gave the TinCaps a 3-2 lead in the second as the game seesawed early on a muggy night at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps overcame adversity. Walker Weickel was hit hard and committed one of their four errors.
Weickel gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Dayton scored four runs over the third and fourth innings to knock Weickel out of the game. Phillip Ervin’s two-run triple in the fourth made it 6-3. Ervin finished 3 for 4 with a walk and also had an RBI triple in the first.
TinCaps right-hander Jorge Guzman (1-0) recorded five outs to give the offense a chance to rally.
That, they did.