A superb pitching performance by Brad Bass and timely hitting helped the West Michigan Whitecaps trounce the Great Lakes Loons 9-1 on Monday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Bass gave the Whitecaps a robust seven-inning start, allowing just four singles and throwing a career-high 104 pitches in the victory. The offense broke through with five doubles, eleven hits and went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The nine runs were the most by West Michigan in ten games.
The Whitecaps used a Cooper Johnson RBI-double in the second off Loons starter Robinson Ortiz to take an early 1-0 lead. Four more ‘Caps runs crossed the plate in the third frame as Daniel Reyes contributed a two-run double and Andre Lipcius added a sacrifice fly to increase the advantage to 5-0. The early runs were the first time in six games the Whitecaps scored first in a contest. Bass encountered only one inning where he allowed more than one base runner. A single and two walks loaded the bases in the fifth, but a ground ball force play squashed the lone Loon rally. After adding another run in the fifth, the Whitecaps tacked on three more in the eighth. Dayton Dugas snapped out of a slump with an RBI-double before Parker Meadows added a two-run single to close the scoring and snap the Whitecaps four-game losing streak, salvaging one game of the three-game series.
In earning the win, Bass (3-2) walked only two, struck out four and has pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings, spanning three starts. Ortiz (1-5) lasted only 2.2 innings and allowed six hits and five runs. Ortiz walked four and struck out two. Reyes, Johnson, Meadows and Wenceel Perez all contributed two hits. Meadows and Reyes enjoyed two-RBI nights as seven of the nine ‘Caps starters tallied a base hit. West Michigan moves to 35-70 in 2019, and the win snapped a seven-game win streak for Great Lakes. The Loons slip to 64-39 and 21-15 in the second-half standings. The Whitecaps improve to 14-22 in their second half and own a July record of 10-17.
The Whitecaps hit the road for a four-game series at Four Winds Field against the South Bend Cubs beginning Tuesday at 7:05 pm. Right-handers Wilkel Hernandez and Peyton Remy get the starts for West Michigan and South Bend respectively. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins 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.