Whitecaps vs. Tincaps brings Sheckler home to W MI

Ben Sheckler
Ben Sheckler of the Fort Wayne Tincaps practices at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park as the Tincaps prepare for a series against the West Michigan Whitecaps. (April 24, 2017)


PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s a homecoming — sort of — for Fort Wayne Tincaps pitcher Ben Sheckler this week as the West Michigan Whitecaps host the Tincaps at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Sheckler grew up in Sparta and pitched for Cornerstone University when he was in college. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2016 and sent to the Tincaps for development, where he’s been fantastic so far. He’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

Sheckler said he used to go to Fifth Third Ballpark to watch the Whitecaps and had the chance to play there twice as a high schooler and once during his time at Cornerstone.

This week will be his first chance to pitch there as a pro, and even though he’s not with the home team, he should have a decent cheering section in the stands. He said he had 35 requests for tickets to the Monday game — though he wasn’t scheduled to pitch — and about 20 for the other games in the three-game series. But he’s not sure his former Cornerstone teammates will be able to make it.

“It’s weird because it’s finals week for all my buddies at Cornerstone and my girlfriend is in finals week,” he said. “It’s way different. I don’t know if they’ll have time to come out here because they’re studying. So two different scenarios. It’s funny.”

About his game, he said he’s “feeling good.”

“I had a good spring. I’m kind of building off that. My slider is working well. Just keeping hitters off balance, so it’s been good,” he said.

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