The West Michigan Whitecaps fell 5-1 in the first game of a doubleheader but took game two by the same 5-1 score over the Lake County Captains Monday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Game one saw the Whitecaps tally only two hits in the loss, but the game two win highlighted a fantastic pitching performance, limiting Lake County to just one-base hit. The one-hitter thrown by West Michigan was the first since the Whitecaps one-hit Bowling Green on August 10th of last season.
Juan Mota handcuffed the Whitecaps in the first game, throwing a seven-inning complete game. The Captains rang up three runs off starter Hugh Smith through the first three innings and took an early lead. Clark Brinkman manufactured the lone run with his first home run as a Whitecaps in the third, closing the deficit to 3-1, but the Captains extended the lead to 5-1 with three hits in the fourth off ‘Caps reliever Jose Vasquez. Lake County banged out ten hits in the win as Smith (0-4) took the loss, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out six. Mota (2-5) earned the victory and gave the Captains their only win in the series.
The Whitecaps returned the favor in game two with a strong spot start by Sandel De La Cruz, as he held the Captains hitless until a Jonathan Engelmann double broke up the no-hitter bid in the fifth. An RBI-single by Andre Lipcius gave West Michigan a 1-0 lead after three frames. Four runs crossed the plate in the fifth and pushed the lead to 5-1. Lipcius and Nick Quintana drew bases-loaded walks to bring runs home. Dayton Dugas drove home a run on a force play, and Ulrich Bojarski picked up his first RBI of the homestand with a sacrifice fly. Yaya Chentouf and Angel Reyes combined to stymie the Captains on 2.1 innings of no-hit, shutout baseball, striking out five. The ‘Caps had only five hits but used five walks in the win. Sam McMillan set the table with singles in both run-producing innings, and Nick Quintana drew three walks. The Whitecaps improve to 5-6 in the second half and 26-54 overall as they took two wins in the three-game series and finished their first winning homestand in 2019 with a 5-2 record. Lake County dropped to 47-33 and 6-4 in second-half play. The Whitecaps have won their last two series.
The Whitecaps open a four-game, home-and-home series against the South Bend Cubs from Four Winds Field to celebrate the 4th of July holiday beginning Tuesday at 7:35 pm. Pitcher Brad Bass makes the start for West Michigan against the Cubs Brailyn Marquez. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 7:25 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visitingwww.whitecapsbaseball.com.