COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps fell victim to extra-base power from the Cedar Rapids Kernels and lost 8-4 in the first of a three-game series Thursday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps pitching staff gave up six doubles to a Kernels team that put base runners on in every inning. Adam Wolf started for the Whitecaps and managed to escape trouble through the first three innings, stranding eight men on base.
Cedar Rapids eventually broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, plating three runs via two base hits and two Whitecaps errors. Meanwhile, Blayne Enlow proved outstanding in his start for Cedar Rapids. His only blemish came in the Whitecaps fourth inning when Avery Tuck grounded an infield single, and an ensuing throwing error enabled Sam McMillan to score from second base and close the deficit to 3-1. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases in their sixth inning. Jacob Pearson followed with a three-run double off 'Caps reliever Drew Crosby as Cedar Rapids increased their lead to 6-1. The Whitecaps trimmed their deficit to 6-4 as Wenceel Perez, and Ulrich Bojarski produced RBI base hits as part of a three-run seventh inning. Cedar Rapids closed the scoring and put the game out of reach with two eighth-inning runs and secured the 8-4 advantage. The loss represents the third straight defeat for West Michigan at home as their record at Fifth Third Ballpark slips to 5-10 in 2019.
Wolf (1-4) suffered the loss in his shortest start of the season, going three innings, walking five and allowing two earned runs. The Whitecaps used five pitchers in the loss, with four relievers combining to allow six hits, five earned runs, and five walks. Enlow (3-3) evened his record with the win, striking out six, allowing four hits and no earned runs in six innings of work. Avery Tuck had two of the Whitecaps seven hits in the defeat. The Whitecaps have lost five of their last seven and fall to a season-low four games under .500 with a 14-18 season record, while the Kernels improve to 15-18 with the victory.
The Whitecaps continue this three-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Friday night beginning at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Wilkel Hernandez starts for the 'Caps against Kernels righty Tyler Palm. Broadcast coverage with Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.