'Caps Falter Late in Loons Rally
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps failed to hold two different four-run leads and fell 11-9 to the Great Lakes Loons Sunday afternoon in front of 5,910 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps enjoyed leads of 4-0 and 8-4, but couldn't hang onto either advantage, as the final game of a five-game series resulted in a combined 20 runs and 25 hits for both teams. The Whitecaps lost the last four contests and have now dropped seven of eight ballgames.
West Michigan greeted Loons starter Zach Willeman with a 4-0 lead in the opening inning as Chris Proctor, Parker Meadows and Jordan Pierce delivered RBI-singles. Great Lakes managed four runs over the next four frames off "Caps starter Garrett Hill to tie the game in the fifth. The Whitecaps came right back with their second four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth and ended the day for Willeman. Proctor began the inning with a solo home run -- his first as a Whitecap. Rivera and Dugas contributed consecutive singles, and Jose King followed with a two-run double. Avery Tuck plated King with a run-scoring single as the "Caps finished the frame with an 8-4 advantage. Four walks by Whitecaps reliever Carson Lance and a bases-clearing double by Jacob Amaya in the Loons seventh helped Great Lakes retake the lead at 9-8. The Loons added two insurance runs in the ninth before Parker Meadows provided a two-out solo home run, his third of the season. Trailing 11-9, Jose King reached base on a passed ball after striking out, but Avery Tuck flew out to end the game as Great Lakes gave West Michigan their seventh loss in eight games.
Johnny Valente paced a 15-hit Whitecaps attack with three hits, and Proctor's two singles helped extend his multi-hit hitting streak to five games. Proctor, Meadows, and King each provided two RBI in the defeat. Lance (0-1) gave up five earned runs and walked four in absorbing the loss. Great Lakes reliever Justin Hagenman (2-1) pitched 1.1 innings and picked up the victory. Nathan Witt earned his second save of 2019 as the Loons have won 16 of their last 19 games. West Michigan drops to a season-low record of 17-25 with a mark of 8-14 at home. Great Lakes improves to ten games over the .500 mark at 25-15.
The Whitecaps host the talented Bowling Green Hot Rods - headlined by one of baseball's top prospects in infielder Wander Franco to open a four-game series beginning Monday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Gio Arriera starts for West Michigan against Hot Rods pitcher Shane Baz. 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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