After taking the lead to the late stages, the West Michigan Whitecaps failed to hold off a scrappy Great Lakes Loons team and fell 4-3 in extra innings Wednesday in front of 7,488 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
After the Whitecaps held a 2-0 lead after six innings, Great Lakes strung together consecutive runs in the seventh and eighth to force extra frames. After both teams traded runs in the tenth, Great Lakes scored again in the eleventh and held off the Whitecaps in the bottom of the frame to take the win.
Robbie Welhaf provided the ‘Caps a much-needed quality start, tossing seven innings of three-hit, one-run pitching. The Whitecaps offense aided Welhaf with runs in both the second and third innings courtesy of a Danny Reyes RBI-single and a run-scoring triple from Parker Meadows to take a 2-0 lead. Welhaf allowed only one hit through six innings, but consecutive base hits gave Great Lakes their first run in the seventh and cut the ‘Caps advantage to 2-1. One inning later, Jair Camargo greeted Whitecaps reliever Sandel De La Cruz with a game-tying RBI-single. The game moved to extra innings with the Loons plating a run in the tenth to take their first lead at 3-2. West Michigan came right back as Cooper Johnson scored from third base on a fielder’s choice during a potential game-ending double play to tie the game. Great Lakes used an RBI-double from Luke Heyer off ‘Caps reliever Angel Reyes in the eleventh frame to take a 4-3 lead. West Michigan failed to score in the bottom of the inning as Riley Greene lined into a double play and Parker Meadows flew out to end the contest, the Loons the victory in the first game of a three-game series. The loss gives the ‘Caps a 1-6 record in extra-inning games in 2019.
Reyes (0-3) gave up two hits, one walk, and a strikeout while surrendering an unearned run in his third loss for the Whitecaps. Justin Bruihl (3-0) remained perfect on the season with his third victory in relief, going 1.2 innings of hitless, no-run baseball, striking out one. The Whitecaps went only 2-11 with runners in scoring position in the loss as Meadows tallied two of the Whitecaps six hits. West Michigan could only muster two hits after the third inning. West Michigan has dropped 16 of their last 20 games and now hold a 2019 record of 38-82 and 17-34 in the Midwest League second-half standings. Great Lakes improves their league-best record to 74-44 and 31-20 in the back half of 2019.
The Whitecaps continue this seven-game homestand against the Great Lakes Loons on Thursday night at Fifth Third Ballpark at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Adam Wolf starts for West Michigan, while the Loons starter is righty Ryan Pepiot. 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.