De La Rosa, Pearce Propel 'Caps to Wildcard Tie
DAYTON, OH - One big catch and one huge swing propelled the West Michigan Whitecaps to a 4-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons Thursday at Fifth Third Field.
A 12-4 loss by the Fort Wayne TinCaps to the Lake County Captains place West Michigan and Fort Wayne in a tie for the Eastern Division wildcard with just four games to go. The TinCaps play a three-game series in West Michigan beginning on Saturday night.
Dayton opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Andy Sugilio to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Eric De La Rosa made an incredible diving catch to save two runs and rob Dragons catcher Mark Koloszvary of extra bases to end the threat.
In the second, Reece Hampton delivered an RBI-double before De La Rosa lined a go-ahead RBI-single into center field to take a 2-1 advantage. The Dragons tied the game at two in the third on another sac fly by Sugilio. In the sixth, Jordan Pearce blasted a towering two-run home run down the right field line to give the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead, and Pearce his sixth home run of the season. Meanwhile, the "Caps bullpen tossed five scoreless innings to give West Michigan their second straight victory.
Dylan Stock (1-0) retired all nine batters he faced in relief to earn his first win as a Whitecap, while Dayton starter Mac Sceroler (2-6) tossed six innings and gave up all four West Michigan runs in suffering his sixth loss of the year. Billy Lescher pitched the final two innings to pick up his seventh save of the year. The Whitecaps improve to 31-34 in the second half and 67-68 in 2018, while the Dragons fall to 25-41 in the back half of this season, and 56-78 overall. Joey Morgan and Wenceel Perez each recorded two hits in the victory.
The Whitecaps play their last regular-season road game with a Friday night contest against the Dayton Dragons at 7:00 pm. Whitecaps pitcher Carson Lance starts for West Michigan against Dragons pitcher Patrick McGuff. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2018 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
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