COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps nearly pulled off another unforgettable rally, but fell to the Dayton Dragons by a score of 4-3 on Friday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The loss ends the Whitecaps 91-win season, and allows the Dayton Dragons to advance to the Midwest League Eastern Division finals to face the Fort Wayne TinCaps in a three-game series beginning tomorrow night.
The game was an incredible showdown of pitching prowess, as both starters allowed just one run on the mound. An RBI-single from Bruce Yari helped the Dragons take a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Isaac Paredes tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame to knot the score even at one. The score remained the same until a run-scoring single by Hector Vargas gave Dayton a 2-1 lead. After a throwing error by Anthony Pereira gave the Dragons a 3-1 lead, the bottom ninth featured an unforgettable comeback. After two were out, Daz Cameron and Cole Bauml reached with RBI-singles before Danny Pinero walked to load the bases. Paraded chopped a ground ball to shortstop, but an error on Carlos Rivero on a throw to second base allowed two runs to score and tie the game at three to an elated home crowd.
The Whitecaps stranded runners at first and second in the tenth before Cassidy Brown scored on a passed ball to give the Dragons to go-ahead run in the eleventh inning, and shortly thereafter sending Dayton to the Eastern Division Championship.
Spenser Watkins (0-1) took the loss in relief, while Alex Webb (1-0) earned the win. The Whitecaps went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position during the contest.
The Whitecaps head to the offseason with the 2018 campaign and 25th anniversary season in their sights. Get information in 2018 season tickets 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.