The West Michigan Whitecaps weathered the storms literally and figuratively in collecting a 6-2 victory over the Lake County Captains in front a 2,500-fan sellout Thursday night at LMCU Ballpark.
The Whitecaps collected 12 hits — six times their amount of their Wednesday win – as Dillon Dingler, Rey Rivera, Eliezer Alfonzo, and Jose King combined for five RBIs as the pitching staff shined, posting 11 punchouts as a stormfront surrounded the ballpark throughout the evening.
The Whitecaps jumped all over the Captains early, posting five runs through the first four frames, highlighted by a pair of RBI-singles from Alfonzo to deliver West Michigan the early 5-0 edge. ‘Caps starter Jesus Rodriguez held Lake County in check through the first five frames allowing no runs on four strikeouts in one of his strongest starts this season. The Captains finally scored in the sixth inning, plating a pair of runners before Whitecaps reliever Angel Reyes slammed the door with a bases-loaded strikeout of Austen Wade to stop the bleeding and retain the Whitecaps lead at 5-2. Rivera opened the eighth inning with a double – making him a perfect 4-for-4 – before scoring on a King sacrifice fly to add one insurance tally and secure the 6-2 victory. Rivera’s four-hit night makes him the first Whitecaps player with a four-hit performance this season.
With his impressive outing, Rodriguez (1-1) captured his longest start on the season in the win. Lake County starter, Raymond Burgos (0-2), struggled allowing four runs on eight hits through just 2.2 innings of work in his second defeat on the season. Ruben Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth while striking out four to earn his team-leading fourth save. The Whitecaps improve to 11-9 as the Captains fall to 11-10. Members of the Whitecaps bullpen have only allowed three runs through their last 21 innings of work dating back to the May 23rd, 4-0 shutout win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The Whitecaps and Captains continue this six-game set at LMCU Ballpark on Friday at 6:35 pm. Whitecaps righty Keider Montero goes to the mound against Captains pitcher Tanner Burns. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for select Whitecaps 2021 home contests by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.