The West Michigan Whitecaps offense exploded with a season-best performance as part of a 15-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons Wednesday night in front of 5,378 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
15 runs and 20 hits represented season-highs for the Whitecaps, with every position player recording a base hit and a run scored. Seven different players tallied RBIs as West Michigan won their second straight game over the Dragons in the four-game series.
Whitecaps starter Wilkel Hernandez gave up a leadoff home run to Mike Siani to start the ballgame but proved brilliant in six innings of work. The 1-0 Dayton lead quickly vanished as the ‘Caps struck for four runs in both the first and second frames. Critical hits in those innings were a Zach Malis three-run homer and RBI-singles off the bats off Hector Martinez and Nick Quintana. The 8-1 lead stretched to 10-1 in the third with Andre Lipcius driving home his second RBI to pace the inning. The RBIs for Lipcius represented his first as a Whitecap since joining the team last week. In the fifth, Chris Proctor delivered an RBI-single to extend the advantage to 11-1. The ‘Caps closed out the scoring with another four-run inning as Proctor and Martinez both stroked RBI-doubles in the inning. Clark Brinkman also added his first RBI as a ‘Cap with a sacrifice fly to close the scoring. Sandel De La Cruz and Angel Reyes came out of the Whitecaps bullpen and combined to pitch three innings of no-hit, shutout baseball with each striking out two.
Hernandez (6-5) picked up his sixth victory and owns the most wins of any Whitecaps pitcher. Hernandez scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out four. Richardson (1-5) took the loss, surrendering ten hits and six earned runs. Whitecaps pitching has allowed only nine hits and two earned runs in 18 innings over the last two games against Dayton. Offensively, Proctor recorded the first five-hit game of his ‘Caps career and Lipcius chipped in with three singles. Martinez, Quintana, Parker Meadows and Rey Rivera all provided two-hit games in the largest margin of victory of the season for West Michigan. Victories in the last two games represent consecutive Whitecaps wins for the first time since May 10-11. West Michigan improves to 2-4 in the second-half standings and 23-52 overall while Dayton tumbles to 2-4 and 30-46 in the overall standings in the Midwest League. The Whitecaps own a 3-5 season record against Dayton but have won each of the last three meetings.
The Whitecaps continue this four-game series against the Dayton Dragons from Fifth Third Ballpark Thursday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Adam Wolf makes the start for West Michigan against the Dragons James Marinan. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 pm. 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.