COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Despite outhitting the Lake County Captains, the West Michigan Whitecaps pitching staff relinquished eight walks in a 6-3 loss on Saturday night in front of a 2019 season-high of 9,361 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.The walk issues for 'Caps pitching culminated in the fifth inning when
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Despite outhitting the Lake County Captains, the West Michigan Whitecaps pitching staff relinquished eight walks in a 6-3 loss on Saturday night in front of a 2019 season-high of 9,361 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The walk issues for 'Caps pitching culminated in the fifth inning when three straight free passes helped the Captains score four runs and take their first lead. The Whitecaps managed eleven hits to the Captains eight but did not help their cause by going only 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranding 12 on the base paths.
Whitecaps starter Brad Bass offered up a solo home run to the Captains Clark Scolamiero on the first pitch of the game. Bass settled in to retire 12 of the next 13 Captains batters he faced through four innings of work. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps offense found traction against Lake County starter Zach Draper, accumulating four base hits and two walks through the first three innings, but failed to score in stranding all on the base paths. In the fourth, the 'Caps broke through with two runs take a 2-1 advantage. Consecutive doubles by Andre Lipcius and Dayton Dugas brought home the 'Caps first run. Two batters later, Wenceel Perez sent a single up-the-middle to score Dugas and give the Whitecaps their first lead at 2-1. The fifth inning represented in the unraveling for West Michigan. Bass surrendered a lead-off single, followed by two walks to load the bases and end his day. Jose Vasquez came on in relief, walked a run home and gave up two straight singles which lead to four Captains runs and a 5-2 margin. West Michigan closed the deficit to 5-3 as Bryant Packard scored on a wild pitch in the seventh. Lake County manufactured an insurance run in the eighth inning as Raynel Delgado delivered an RBI single off 'Caps reliever Angel Reyes to up the lead to 6-3. The Whitecaps went down in order in the ninth to give the Captains the win in the first game of a four-game series.
Bass (4-4) only gave up two hits but walked three and was credited with four unearned runs along with two strikeouts in suffering his fourth loss. West Michigan used four pitchers out of the bullpen, collectively allowing two earned runs in 4.1 innings on six hits with five walks. Kellen Rholl (3-4) worked two relief innings to earn the victory, scattering two singles and striking out four. Riley Greene, Perez and Lipcius all enjoyed two-hit nights as eight of the nine 'Caps reached base off four Captains pitchers. The double by Dugas extended his career-best hit streak to nine games. The loss for West Michigan drops their 2019 record to 40-83 and 19-35 in the second half. Lake County, who clinched a playoff birth for the first time since 2010, improved to 28-26 in the second half and 68-55 overall.
The Whitecaps continue this four-game series against the Lake County Captains from Fifth Third Ballpark with a Sunday matinee beginning at 2:00 pm. Pitchers Wilkel Hernandez and Matt Turner get the starts for West Michigan and Captains respectively. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 1:50 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.