Last minute wins becoming habit
DAVENPORT, IA - For second time in a week West Michigan faced a multi-run deficit going into the ninth but pulled out a 10 inning victory, 6-5 over Quad Cities.
The win earned the Whitecaps a 2-2 split in the series with the West Division leading Swing and stretches West Michigan's extra-inning win streak to eight. The Whitecaps are now 9-3 in extra inning games. Quad Cities took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on the third home run in the series for Eric Verbryke.
A questionable RBI double by Rick Ankiel in the eighth made it 3-0 Swing. The ball appeared to go off the wall several feet on the foul side of the right field foul pole.
Both runners on base stopped and the Whitecaps defenders stopped moving as well until a hesitant fair ball call was made by the umpires. Matt Shepherd scored from second on the play.
In the top of the ninth, Justin Justice led off with a home run against Swing starter Phillip Andersen, who had allowed just four base runners in the game prior to the ninth. Andersen then walked Steve Young and was removed from the game.
Closer Mike Sillman, who is third in the league with 17 saves came in and blew a save opportunity.
Nick McInytre walked and Brent Dlugach singled to load the bases and put the go-ahead run on base.
Back-to-back fielder's choice ground outs by Luis Sabino and Wilkin Ramirez provided the second and third runs of the inning to tie the game, 3-3.
Dlugach came through the go-ahead hit in the tenth inning of Jayme Torres. A two-run triple to right put the Whitecaps on top, 5-3. Dlugach scored on a single by Sabino for a 6-3 advantage.
Kevin Ardoin struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth for the Whitecaps, but walked the bases loaded in the tenth. The third walk issued by Ardoin came on a ball called by the umpires because Ardoin put his hand to his mouth before a pitch.
West Michigan manager Matt Walbeck came out to argue the call, which brought Mike Ferris to the plate with the winning run and 11 home runs on the season. Walbeck was ejected from the game.
Ferris singled to right to drive in a pair of runs against Whitecaps closer Anthony Tomey. The next batter, pinch hitter Nick Stavinoh flied to right to end the game. Tomey earned his seventh save.
Josh Kauten pitched six innings in his second starter for the Whitecaps since coming off a six-week stint on the disabled list. He allowed four hits, but all were in the first inning. Kauten retired ten in a row before allowing a lead off walk in the seventh.
Lavon Lewis kept the game close as he pitched the seventh and eighth for the Whitecaps.
Dlugach finished 3-for-5. Justice went 2-for-4 and doubled to start the rally in the tenth. He also scored the go-ahead run.
Jeff Frazier went 0-for-3 with a walk to end his 12-game hitting streak.
West Michigan rallied from a 6-1 deficit through eight innings last Saturday against Clinton to win 7-6 in ten innings. The next day, the Whitecaps were down 6-0, but beat the Lumberkings, 12-8.
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