The West Michigan Whitecaps bullpen continued its second-half struggle, losing a 1-0 lead in the late stages as part of a 2-1, eleven-inning loss to the South Bend Cubs in front of 7,997 fans at Four Winds Field.
The Whitecaps have lost eight of their last nine games and finish the 2019 regular season having dropped 11 of their 12 games played at Four Winds Field. The ‘Caps have lost six of their seven extra-inning games this season.
West Michigan scored the first run of the contest on a rare seeing-eye double down the third baseline and into the left-field corner by Daniel Reyes to score Andre Lipcius from first base to take a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Whitecaps starting pitcher Gio Arriera was tremendous with 5.2 scoreless frames while scattering two hits and striking out four. Reliever Drew Crosby entered in the sixth and allowed a game-tying RBI-double to Marcus Mastrobuoni to even the game at one. While the game remained tied, the Whitecaps squandered various scoring chances in the late stages of the contest. In the tenth, the ‘Caps were turned away at the doorstep when a single by Dayton Dugas led to the potential go-ahead run being thrown out at home plate to end the frame as left fielder Zac Taylor threw out Andre Lipcius. In the eleventh, Parker Meadows struck out looking with runners at second and third with one out. West Michigan went 3-for-32 with runners in scoring position during the four-game series.
Cubs reliever Eugenio Palma (3-2) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out two in collecting his third win of the season. West Michigan pitcher Sandel De La Cruz (2-4) walked in the game-winning run to take his fourth loss. Crosby collected a blown save in the defeat and has given up at least one run in eight of his last nine appearances. West Michigan falls to 35-74 in 2019 and 14-26 in the second half. The Cubs improve to 60-48 and 23-17 in the second-half standings. The Whitecaps fall nine games back of the Cubs for the final Midwest League playoff spot.
The Whitecaps travel to Parkview Field to face the Fort Wayne TinCaps to open a four-game series on Saturday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Adam Wolf takes the mound for West Michigan against fellow lefty Cullen Dana for the TinCaps. 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.