'Caps Bats Scare off Loons
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps scored early and added some insurance runs late to defeat the Great Lakes Loons 6-3 in front of 6,840 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday night.
The Whitecaps collected three runs in the first inning to take an early lead then added two big insurance tallies in the eighth to earn the victory -- their second straight win over the Loons to win the three-game series. The win enabled West Michigan to win their first series since taking two of three games vs. Beloit in mid-July.
Jack Kenley and Corey Joyce set the table in the 'Caps three-run first frame with a double and a single off Loons starter Stephen Kolek. Parker Meadows and Bryant Packard followed with consecutive RBI-singles; then Daniel Reyes reached base on a Loons throwing error to score Meadows and make the score 3-0.
Chance Kirby made his first Whitecaps start since August 1 and retired the first six Loons he faced before a Kody Hoese home run highlighted a two-run third to cut the 'Caps lead to 4-2. Great Lakes cut the margin to 4-3 in the sixth with a Luke Heyer sacrifice fly. The 'Caps offense came through with two critical runs in the seventh to seal the win. Daniel Reyes greeted Loons reliever Jasiel Alvino by doubling home Meadows, who singled to start the frame and Cooper Johnson added a single to plate Reyes and conclude the scoring at 6-3. Whitecaps newcomer Corey Joyce paced a 14-hit attack with a double as part of a 3-for-4 performance. Andre Lipcius, Meadows and Packard each added two hits as every starter for West Michigan recorded a base hit. Reyes increased his season-best hit streak to eight games.
Kirby (5-7) tossed his third straight quality start for his fifth win, tossing six innings and giving up three earned runs with six strikeouts. Yaya Chentouf tossed three innings of three-hit, shut-out relief and picked up his fifth save of the year. Kolek (7-7) went only three innings for Great Lakes in the loss, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out two. Despite a season record of 6-10 against Great Lakes in 2019, the Whitecaps have won three of the last four meetings, improving to 40-82 overall and 19-34 in the second-half standings. Even with the loss, Great Lakes still owns the best record in the Midwest League at 74-46 and 31-22 since the All-Star Break.
The Whitecaps open a four-game series against the Lake County Captains from Fifth Third Ballpark Saturday night at 7:05 pm. Pitchers Brad Bass starts for West Michigan while Captains lefty Zach Draper gets the call for Lake County. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman 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.
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