For the second straight night, the West Michigan Whitecaps found themselves trailing by four runs, but this time failed to recover in a 7-2 loss to the Great Lakes Loons Thursday night at Dow Diamond.
The Whitecaps struck out a season-high 16 times in the defeat, breaking their record of 15 set in a 6-4 win at Lansing on April 10. On Wednesday, the Whitecaps erased a four-run deficit in a 7-6 victory over Great Lakes in one of the biggest comebacks of the season.
Whitecaps pitcher Carson Lance, summoned from short-season Connecticut earlier this week, failed to escape the first inning. With two outs, the Loons struck for three runs in the form of a bases-loaded walk to Dan Robinson and a two-run single by Chris Roller to take a 3-0 advantage. In the next frame, the Loons successfully converted a double-steal to score James Outman and extend the Great Lakes lead to 4-0. The Whitecaps plated single runs as Cooper Johnson, and Danny Reyes scored on wild pitches in the third and fifth innings respectively. In the bottom of the frame, the Loons struck for three more highlighted by a fielding error by second baseman Jack Kenley, who dropped a soft pop-up allowing two runs to score and lengthen the Loons edge to 7-2.
Meanwhile, Loons pitching dominated, striking out Whitecaps hitters 16 times with three-strikeout games by Riley Greene and Andre Lipcius. The Great Lakes bullpen shined on Thursday, as Justin Bruihl (4-0) tossed 2.2 scoreless frames with three strikeouts in earning his fourth victory of the 2019 season. Lance (0-2) suffered the loss for West Michigan, who walked six batters in 4.1 innings while giving up five hits and six runs in his return to the ‘Caps. The Whitecaps record falls to 42 games under the .500 mark at 43-85 in 2019 and 22-37 in the second-half standings. Great Lakes improves to 33-26 in the back half of the season with a 76-50 overall record.
The Whitecaps finish off their three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons from Dow Diamond Friday at 7:05 pm. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 pm. Brad Bass makes the start for West Michigan against Loons righty Jose Chacin. 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