The West Michigan Whitecaps took a three-run lead into the fourth inning, but a depleted bullpen gave up nine unanswered runs as part of a 9-4 defeat to the Lake County Captains on Friday night at Classic Park.
The loss becomes the fifth straight for West Michigan, tying their longest skid of the season.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring for the third time in the first four games of this series when Rey Rivera launched a two-run homer – his fifth of the season – to take a 2-0 lead. In the next frame, Daniel Cabrera blasted a 414-foot homer off the batter’s eye in centerfield to extend the ‘Caps edge to 3-0. Throughout the next five innings, the Captains reeled off, plating nine straight runs to pull off their biggest win of the series. A two-run homer from George Valera and a two-run single by Brayan Rocchio helped give Lake County the 4-3 lead. Trailing 9-3 in the ninth, the Whitecaps got an RBI-double from Cole McLaren before falling for the fifth straight contest. With the loss, West Michigan’s record in June fell to 5-10.
Captains reliever Kevin Coulter (3-3) allowed just one run in four innings while striking out seven to earn his third win of the season, while Zac Shepherd (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year by giving up a career-high five runs on seven hits in just 1.2 innings. Captain reliever Alec Wisely tossed the final three innings to collect his third save of the 2021 campaign. The Captains improve to 22-18 as the Whitecaps fall for the fifth straight game, and to 19-20. West Michigan is now under the .500 mark for the first time since the Whitecaps were 8-9 on May 23. Cabrera led the Whitecaps by going 2-for-4 with his solo shot in a losing cause.
The Whitecaps and Lake County Captains play the fifth game of this series Saturday at 7:00 pm. West Michigan’s starting pitcher is right-hander Beau Brieske against Captains pitcher Eric Mock. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:45 pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.