COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Danny Pinero's go-ahead RBI-double in the eighth inning helped the West Michigan Whitecaps defeat the South Bend Cubs 6-5 at Fifth Third Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.
West Michigan and South Bend showed solid offense in the finale of the three-game series. South Bend took an early 1-0 lead on Vimael Machin's run-scoring double in the second inning. West Michigan answered in the second inning with two runs. Drew Longley reached base after a throwing error by Cubs starter Jose Paulino. Pinero laced a double; one of two on the day, to the wall in right-center to set up Anthony Pereira's two-run single to centerfield and giving the 'Caps their first lead at 2-1. South Bend added one more run in the third inning, tying the score at 2-2 and ended the day for "Caps starter Anthony Castro. Castro allowed four hits, two earned runs and walked four batters in three innings.
Once again West Michigan plated a run in the third inning. Elvis Rubio singled in Jake Robson and the 'Caps again regained the lead 3-2. In the fifth inning Cole Bauml drove home two runs on a single to right field and the 'Caps extended the lead to 5-2. South Bend roared back off 'Caps reliever Fernando Perez in the sixth inning. Perez surrendered a solo home run to Kevonte Mitchell as part of a Cubs three run sixth inning to tie the game at five.
Whitecaps relievers Zac Houston and Jason Foley combined on holding the Cubs on two hits over 2.2 innings. The game remained knotted at five until the 'Caps eighth inning. An Austin Athmann single set the stage for Pinero. Pinero drove Athmann home with the eventual go-ahead run with an RBI-double to provide the 'Caps a 6-5 lead.
Bryan Garcia closed out the ninth inning for West Michigan to earn his second save despite relinquishing a leadoff triple Albert Mineo to begin the frame. Foley (1-0) picked up the win while Silverio (1-1) took the loss. The Whitecaps won two games of the three-game series and improved their season record to 5-5. South Bend fell to 5-5.
The Whitecaps head to Parkview Field to take on the Fort Wayne TinCaps Monday at 7:05pm. Pitcher Austin Sodders faces off against TinCaps hurler Will Headean. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55p.m. Tickets can be reserved for any Whitecaps 2017 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.