Loons Enjoy Fifth in Win over 'Caps
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps fell victim to a four-run fifth inning from the Great Lakes Loons and lost 4-3 Friday night in front of 5,034 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
In the third game of a five-game series, Whitecaps starter Wilkel Hernandez and Great Lakes starter Stephen Kolek each retired the first six batters they faced. The "Caps broke through in the third as outfielder Dayton Dugas began the inning with his second double in consecutive nights. Jose King followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Dugas and give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead. The Loons responded with a four-run fifth inning highlighted by a Nico Hulsizer two-run single off Hernandez. The Whitecaps trailed 4-1 but rallied in the sixth. A double by King and a Johnny Valente single gave the "Caps multiple base runners on for the first time in the ballgame. Chris Proctor walked, and King scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-2. Ulrich Bojarski followed with an RBI-groundout, which brought the score to 4-3. West Michigan could not complete the comeback, managing only one base hit over the final three innings and took the loss, their fifth in the last six games. The Whitecaps have struggled in one-run games, going 4-10 in 2019 and hold a 0-17 record when trailing after seven innings. The "Caps placed only four runners in scoring position on the night and managed just six hits, but two singles by Proctor give him four consecutive two-hit games.
Hernandez (4-3) picked up the loss, foiling his effort to become the first pitcher in the Midwest League to earn his fifth win of the season. Hernandez allowed all four Loons runs in six innings, gave up six hits and struck out five. Kolek (2-2) evened his 2019 record with the win, relinquishing all three "Caps runs but only allowing five hits in 5.2 innings. Brett de Geus picked up his first save for Great Lakes. West Michigan falls to a season-low record of 17-23 in 2019 while Great Lakes improves to 23-15 and takes over first place in the Eastern Division.
The Whitecaps and Great Lakes Loons play the fourth game of this five-game series Saturday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Carlos Guzman starts for West Michigan against Loons righty Andre Jackson. 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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