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 West Michigan Whitecaps

'Caps Rally Falls Short, 6-5

August 18, 2023 - Midwest League (MWL)
West Michigan Whitecaps News Release

COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps plated four unanswered runs before a late home run doomed them in a 6-5 defeat to the South Bend Cubs in front of 8,044 fans Friday night at LMCU Ballpark.

All but one Whitecaps hitter reached base as all but two recorded a hit - compiling four extra-base hits, including a solo home run from right fielder Austin Murr - but they couldn't capitalize in clutch situations late, finishing 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the narrow defeat.

The Whitecaps scored in the first inning as catchers interference allowed Luke Gold to cross the plate, putting West Michigan in front 1-0. The Cubs responded in the top of the second as second baseman Josh Rivera collected an RBI single, tying the game at 1-1. The Cubs exploded for four runs across the third and fourth innings - featuring a two-run double from Matt Shaw - forging in front 5-1. The Whitecaps began chipping away at the lead in the sixth, as Brady Allen scored on a double play before a solo home run from Austin Murr in the seventh and an RBI from Eliezer Alfonzo in the eighth cut the Cubs advantage to 5-4. South Bend added a critical insurance tally in the top of the ninth as outfielder Christian Franklin collected a solo homer, expanding the lead to 6-4. Carlos Mendoza added an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally fell short, as Cubs closer Frankie Scalzo Jr. induced a flyout to earn the save and slam the door on the 6-5 victory.

The Whitecaps fall to 58-52 overall and 26-19 in the second half, while the Cubs improve to 49-61 and 19-26 in the second half. Cubs reliever Nick Hull (1-0) secures his first victory, allowing two runs through four innings pitched as Scalzo Jr. picks up his eighth save. Whitecaps starter Jackson Jobe (2-1) suffers his first loss, allowing four runs through three innings pitched. The Whitecaps still sit a half-game ahead of the Fort Wayne TinCaps for first place in the Midwest League East Division. The 'Caps could secure a series victory with a win in either of the final two games. The Whitecaps have not lost a six-game series since before the All-Star break, where they lost five out of six on the road against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on July 9.


The Whitecaps play the penultimate game of this six-game series at LMCU Ballpark on Saturday at 7:05 pm. Dylan Smith and Luis Devers get the starts for West Michigan and South Bend. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2023 home games now at

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