TinCaps RHP Pedro Avila set a new franchise record Tuesday when he struck out 17 batters in Fort Wayne’s 4-1 win over the Great Lakes Loons.
That broke the previous Fort Wayne record set by LaTroy Hawkins, who struck out 15 batters in a game against the Cedar Rapids Kernels during the team’s inaugural season, on June 25, 1993. (The team was known as the Wizards then.)
In addition to fanning 17 batters (including nine straight strikeouts), Avila allowed only one run on three hits and didn’t walk anyone in his eight innings of work. Despite that stellar performance, he got a no-decision because the TinCaps needed 10 innings to win the game.
Although the TinCaps offense managed only two hits in the game — a 1st-inning double by Jorge Ona and a 10th-inning single by Jack Suwinski — they set a new franchise record, too. They drew 14 walks, one more than the previous team record set May 29, 2000, against the Lansing Lugnuts.
Tuesday’s game marked Avila’s 10th start for Fort Wayne this season. The 20-year-old Venezuela native is 6-1 with a 3.23 ERA, 82 strikeouts and nine walks in 61.1 innings for the TinCaps. Originally a Washington Nationals farmhand, Avila was traded one-for-one to the San Diego Padres for major-league catcher Derek Norris last December. Norris was released by the Nationals in March and played for the Rays this season until Tampa Bay released him on June 26.
Applicable MWL records
The Midwest League record for most strikeouts in a single game is 22, set by Decatur Commodores LHP Bob Sprout on Aug. 18, 1960, vs. the Waterloo Hawks. (Fun fact: With an 81-43 record during the regular season, Waterloo was the league’s best team that year, while Decatur’s 51-71 record was the league’s worst.)
The MWL record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game is 10. It was first done by Burlington Bees RHP Art Groza on May 22, 1966, vs. the Dubuque Commodores. It was matched by Dayton Dragons RHP Daniel Renken on June 29, 2011, vs. the Lansing Lugnuts.
The MWL record for most walks drawn by a team in a single game is 20, done by the Paducah Chiefs on May 22, 1949, and the Dubuque Packers on May 22, 1955. Both of those teams were part of the now-defunct Mississippi-Ohio Valley League, a predecessor league whose records officially count as MWL statistics.