COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps offense managed only three hits all night but took advantage of ten walks off Great Lakes Loons pitching and pushed their win streak to four games with a 4-1 win at Fifth Third Ball Park on Wednesday night.
The 'Caps Brad Bass and the Loons Marshall Kasowski both made their first starts of the 2018 season and managed to keep their respective teams off the scoreboard despite laboring through the first two innings. West Michigan chased Kasowski out of the game in the third inning with consecutive walks by Luke Burch and Joey Morgan. Jordan Pearce greeted Loons reliever Andre Scrubb with another walk, and one out later Jose Quero picked up and RBI by getting hit on the right elbow with the bases full to bring home the first run of the game. Zac Shepherd coaxed another bases-loaded walk, and the Whitecaps took a 2-0 lead. Two Loons walks, and an RBI single in the fourth off Bass proved the only run relinquished by the 6-6, right-hander in five innings of work, and cut the 'Caps lead to 2-1.
In the sixth inning, West Michigan closed out the scoring with two runs, as a potential double play ground ball off the bat of Morgan resulted in a wild throw to first base. Morgan was safe on the play, Shepherd scored from third base, and Cole Peterson scampered home all the way from second base to push the 'Caps margin to 4-1. Oswaldo Castillo took over in the sixth and proved effective in three innings of relief for the Whitecaps, allowing just one hit and recording four strikeouts. Wladimir Pinto worked the 'Caps ninth inning, and despite giving up a single and a walk, managed to finish off the Loons to earn his second save of 2018. West Michigan finished with a season-low three hits in a game which featured 17 walks combined between the teams. Peterson pushed his hit streak to six games with a two-hit night and marked the fourth straight game the 'Caps shortstop recording at least two hits.
Bass (1-0) picked up the Whitecaps first victory by a starting pitcher in 2018. Kasowski (0-1) took the loss for the Loons, who dropped to 2-5 on the young season. With the four-game win streak, West Michigan improves to 5-1 on the year.
The Whitecaps conclude this four-game series against the Great Lakes Loons Thursday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. Right-hander Dane Myers gets the start for West Michigan against Loons pitcher Riley Ottesen. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 11:50 a.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.