Pitcher Brad Bass tossed seven scoreless innings to help the West Michigan Whitecaps enjoy a 1-0 victory over the Great Lakes Loons Friday night at Dow Diamond.
Bass (5-4), nicknamed ‘Big Tuna,’ from the television series The Office, dominated his competition like Jim Halpert besting Roy Anderson in a warehouse office basketball game with six strikeouts in his fifth victory of the year. It marks the fifth time the ‘Caps have shut out their opponent during the 2019 season.
The 6’6 righty from Aurora, IL, Bass allowed a one-out triple to Chris Roller in the second. Jair Camargo followed with a grounder to third thrown home by Andre Lipcius to cut down Roller’s attempt to score and keep the game a scoreless tie. In the fourth, Bass loaded the bases before striking out Garett Hope to end the frame and quell the Loons biggest threat. The Whitecaps scored their only run in the sixth when Wenceel Perez began the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Corey Joyce. The base hit gave Joyce his first RBI with West Michigan since joining the club.
In the seventh, Camargo bounced a ground ball back to Bass with one out, whose throw to first sailed wildly past first baseman Zach Malis and into foul territory. Surprisingly, Camargo was ruled out by home plate umpire Clay Williams due to running out of the first baseline. The call led to an argument from Great Lakes manager John Shoemaker, who was named the 2019 Midwest League Manager of the Year earlier in the day. Moments later, Williams ejected Hitting Coach Justin Viele from the ballgame.
Bass departed after seven innings, and reliever Yaya Chentouf and Zack Hess tossed an inning apiece to finish the contest, with Hess collecting his sixth save of the season. Loons starter Jose Chacin (11-7) took the loss despite striking out ten ‘Caps hitters but the only run of the game. The Whitecaps record improves to 44-85 in 2019 and 23-37 in the second-half standings. Great Lakes improves to 33-27 in the back half of the season with a 76-51 overall record. Perez led a quiet offensive performance with a double and triple while scoring the only run of the contest for either side in the victory. The game commenced in front of a Dow Diamond record-high 6,671 fans.
The Whitecaps return to Fifth Third Ballpark for the final four-game series of the regular season in West Michigan as they take on the Fort Wayne TinCaps Saturday at 7:05 pm. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 pm. Wilkel Hernandez makes the start for West Michigan against TinCaps lefty Ryan Weathers. Tickets are available for all remaining Whitecaps 2019 home games by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.