The West Michigan Whitecaps took out the frustrations of an eight-game losing streak after a 1-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader with a convincing 10-1 win in the second over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in front of 5,888 fans Wednesday at Fifth Third Ballpark.
After managing just four hits in the opener, the Whitecaps offense broke out in game two as a six-run third inning highlighted a 13-hit attack in the much-needed victory in the nightcap.
The opening contest featured a pitcher’s duel with Joey Cantillo starting for Fort Wayne and West Michigan countering with Wilkel Hernandez. The ‘Caps offense stranded the bases loaded in the second inning and only had two base runners the rest of the game. The TinCaps reached Hernandez with the games’ only run in the sixth. Blake Hunt’s RBI-single gave the TinCaps a 1-0 lead and secured the eight-straight loss for the Whitecaps. Cantillo (2-2) evened his record by allowing only three hits in five innings and matched a season-high with eight strikeouts. Hernandez (4-5) lost his third straight start, going 5.2 innings, scattering four hits despite recording a career-high eight strikeouts.
Trailing 1-0 in game two, West Michigan exploded for six runs in the third inning on six hits, including a Chris Proctor RBI-double, followed by run-producing singles from Rey Rivera, Daniel Reyes, and Parker Meadows broke the game open off TinCaps starter Adrian Martinez. The Whitecaps Robbie Welhaf, making only his second career start, was outstanding in limiting Fort Wayne to only three hits and one unearned run. West Michigan used a three-run homer from Ulrich Bojarski and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Avery Tuck to add four more runs in the fifth inning and increase their lead to 10-1. Angel Reyes sealed the win for West Michigan by tossing two innings of effective relief. Five Whitecaps enjoyed multi-hit games as the ‘Caps ended their longest losing streak of the season. Welhaf (2-0) remains perfect on the year for the Whitecaps, tossing a career-high five innings and tallying five strikeouts in picking up the win. Martinez (1-2) absorbed the loss for Fort Wayne, giving up six earned runs in only 2.1 innings of work. The split of the doubleheader gives West Michigan a season record of 19-34 while the TinCaps moved to 25-26 overall and saw a four-game win streak come to an end.