The West Michigan Whitecaps did all of the little things well as they defeated the South Bend Cubs by a score of 5-3 on Tuesday at Four Winds Field.
The victory gives West Michigan six wins in its last eight games for the first time during the 2019 season. Every run the ‘Caps scored either came in via a two-out base hit or when a Whitecaps hitter drove in a runner from third with less than two outs in an inning.
South Bend outfielder Brennan Davis launched a two-run homer in the first to open the scoring and give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. In the third, the ‘Caps offense proved resourceful, turning a leadoff walk to Parker Meadows and double by Dayton Dugas into a pair of runs delivered with RBIs from Zach Malis and Wenceel Perez. In the fifth, Malis delivered a run-scoring single to plate Dugas, who stole second base the pitch before to give the Whitecaps a 3-2 lead. In the sixth, Perez led off with a single as a driving rain began to fall and stole second base before the umpires called for the tarp and a rain delay began that spanned nearly an hour. As play resumed, Nick Quintana tallied an insurance run for West Michigan with an RBI-single to extend the ‘Caps lead to 4-2. A sacrifice fly by Meadows in the ninth pushed the Whitecaps lead to 5-2. Andy Weber’s RBI-double brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Davis grounded out to third to end the ballgame and give the ‘Caps a victory in the first game of a four-game, home-and-home series.
Starting pitcher Brad Bass (1-0), who played nearby collegiate baseball at Notre Dame, tossed five frames and allowed only two runs while giving up a career-high ten hits in earning his first ‘Caps win of 2019. Cubs starter Brendon Little (0-1) returned from Advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach to allow three runs in five innings in taking his first Cubs loss of the season. Reliever Drew Crosby was exceptional in four innings out of the bullpen, retiring the first 11 batters he faced in collecting his second save of the season. The Whitecaps improve to an even 6-6 in the second half and 27-54 overall, while South Bend dropped to 43-37 and 6-6 in second-half play. Perez and Dugas led the Whitecaps with two hits apiece, while Cubs infielder Levi Jordan went 4-for-5 with two runs scored in a losing cause.
The Whitecaps play a Wednesday night contest against the South Bend Cubs from Four Winds Field at 7:35 pm. Pitcher Wilkel Hernandez 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.