COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps attempted a late-inning rally on consecutive nights, but could not get the big hit this time in a 2-1 loss to the Dayton Dragons in Game 2 of the Midwest League East Quarterfinals Thursday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Dayton evened the Eastern Division Semi-Finals series at 1-1 with a dominating pitching performance by left-hander Scott Moss, who scattered three Whitecaps singles in six innings of work. Alfred Gutierrez, making the Whitecaps start, struggled in the first inning as a walk and a single set the stage for a Taylor Trammell flare RBI single, and a 1-0 Dragons lead. Whitecaps reliever Drew Carlton came on in the fifth inning and proved to be outstanding, stranding two Dragons in that inning and keeping the game close by working 2.2 innings of one hit, five strikeout pitching. Dayton tacked on a huge insurance run in the eighth inning and took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning. The 'Caps once again tried a late inning rally as Isaac Paredes belted a one-out double and Chad Sedio followed suit with a walk. A Dayton wild pitch advanced both base runners in scoring position then Anthony Pereira brought home the lone run of the night for the 'Caps on an RBI ground out and a 2-1 deficit. Dayton reliever Dauri Moreta entered in relief and extinguished the potential comeback by inducing an Austin Athmann flyout and provide the victory.
Gutierrez (0-1) allowed seven hits and the lone earned run in 4.1 innings and tallied nine strikeouts with three walks. Whitecaps pitchers tied a season high with 19 strikeouts in the loss. Moss (1-0) earned the victory with Moreta picking up the save for Dayton. The Dragons outhit West Michigan ten to six as Isaac Paredes provided the only extra base hit of the night for the 'Caps- a double, and two hits overall. The Whitecaps now have scored four runs or fewer in 14 of their last 15 games, as they seek their first series clinching win at home since 2007.
The Whitecaps continue the Eastern Division Quarterfinals against the Dayton Dragons with a winner-take-all Game 3 Friday at 7:00p.m. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:45p.m. Tickets can be reserved for any Whitecaps 2017 home contest, or the 2017 Midwest League Playoffs 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.