FORT WAYNE, IN - A run-scoring single by Fernando Tatis Jr., and a cold West Michigan Whitecaps offense resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field Wednesday morning.
The Whitecaps only plated two runs Wednesday, and just six runs in the entire three-game series. Their .194 batting average ranks last in the Midwest League, and the team is hitting just .167 with runners in scoring position.
For a moment, it looked as if the 'Caps offense would push across some runs against TinCaps starter Jesse Scholtens. Blaise Salter's sacrifice fly gave West Michigan a 1-0 in the first, but Hudson Potts tied the score with an RBI-triple in the bottom of the frame. Cole Bauml drove in a run with a third inning groundout before an infield single by Reinaldo Illarraza tied the game at two in the fifth. The score remained the same until the eighth. After West Michigan reliever Fernando Perez retired the first nine natters he faced, he gave up a two-out single to Potts. After a wild pitch by Perez sent Potts to second base, Tatis lined a go-ahead RBI-single to left field to give Fort Wayne a 3-2 lead.
In the ninth, Jake Robson and Salter reached on leadoff singles to put runners at first and second with none out in the one-run game. The Whitecaps decided against trying a sacrifice bunt and Austin Athmann bounced into a double play. Elvis Rubio grounded out to first to end the ballgame and give the TinCaps a 3-2 victory.
Cornerstone University alum Ben Sheckler (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings to earn his second win with the TinCaps, while Fernando Perez (0-1) allowed the RBI-single to Tatis Jr., in the eighth to take first loss. The Whitecaps record falls to 6-7, while Fort Wayne improves to 5-8. Robson led the way with three hits, while Salter and Cam Gibson each notched a pair of hits in the defeat.
The Whitecaps head home for a seven-game homestand beginning with a four-game set against the Lake County Captains Thursday at 6:35pm. Pitchers Eudis Idrogo and Shane Beiber square off the 'Caps and Captains. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:25p.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.