West Michigan Whitecaps Daniel Reyes’ ninth-inning ground ball up-the-middle bounced off the second base bag and caromed into center field to score Wenceel Perez in a 4-3 walk-off win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods Tuesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Reyes, who arrived in West Michigan earlier this week from High-A Lakeland, provided the heroics with the game-winning RBI-single, helping the ‘Caps break a season-high five game losing streak.
Whitecaps starter Chance Kirby fell behind 2-0 in the second inning after allowing two run-scoring base hits. The ‘Caps answered with a run of their own in the bottom half as Jordan Pearce stroked an RBI-triple off Hot Rods starter Matthew Liberatore and cut the deficit to 2-1. Bowling Green responded with a run in the fourth but consecutive tallies in the middle innings enabled the Whitecaps to tie the score at three. A bases-loaded walk to Wenceel Perez scored Sam McMillan in the fifth, and Rey Rivera followed a Daniel Reyes double with an RBI-single in the sixth. ‘Caps reliever Sandel De La Cruz came on in the sixth and saved his best relief appearance of the year with three innings of one-hit baseball. De La Cruz struck out four in three scoreless innings and helped the Whitecaps take a 3-3 tie to the final inning. In the ninth, Perez worked a one-out walk against Hot Rods reliever Chris Muller. After Parker Meadows popped out for the second out, Ulrich Bojarski singled and set the stage for Reyes’ heroics.
Robbie Welhaf (1-0) retired the Hot Rods in order in his one inning of work in the ninth and picked up the win for the Whitecaps. Muller (0-3) pitched two innings and suffered the loss for Bowling Green. Kirby worked five innings for the ‘Caps, scattering six hits and allowing all of Bowling Green’s runs while striking out three. Liberatore struck out eight in the no-decision for Bowling Green and walked five while allowing only one hit in five innings. Reyes and Pearce each had two hits and an RBI for West Michigan, who took the win despite recording only six hits. The win improves the Whitecaps season record to 18-26 while Bowling Green falls to 25-20.
The Whitecaps and Bowling Green Hot Rods continue this four-game series with a Wednesday morning ballgame at 11:00 am. Lefty Adam Wolf starts for West Michigan against Hot Rods pitcher Caleb Sampen. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 10:50 am. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.