COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps used a walk-off walk from Zac Shepherd in the bottom of the ninth to pick up a 4-3 victory over the Great Lakes Loons to complete a four-game sweep on Thursday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The 'Caps collected just six base hits but managed twelve walks off Loons pitching and created several scoring opportunities -- especially in the early innings. A bases-loaded walk to the 'Caps Dylan Rosa scored the game's first run in the opening inning. Great Lakes tied the game at 1-1 with their only run off 'Caps starter Dane Myers in the fifth, while the teams traded runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but the Loons tied the score at 3-3 in the ninth inning with three straight singles off 'Caps reliever Clate Schmidt. In the bottom of the ninth, walks to Colby Bortles, Jordan Pearce and Rosa loaded the bases for Zac Shepherd, who brought the winning run home by walking on five pitches and securing the 4-3 win and the first series sweep by West Michigan over Great Lakes since the 2015 season.
Schmidt (2-0) picked up the victory for the Whitecaps, while Dan Jagiello (0-1), who entered the game in the eighth inning, absorbed the defeat for the Loons, who dropped to 2-6 on the year. Myers went five innings in his second start for West Michigan and proved useful by scattering five hits and striking out three. Loons starter Riley Ottesen lasted only three innings, only allowing one earned run but walking five overall. West Michigan tallied 22 walks over the last two games of the series. The Whitecaps remained in first place in the Midwest League's Eastern Division with the win and moved to 6-1 in 2018, and extends their winning streak to five games.
The Whitecaps head to Lansing to face the Lugnuts for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Southpaw Eudis Idrogo gets the start for West Michigan against Lugnuts righty Graham Spraker. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 p.m. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2018 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.