Whitecaps Drop Homestand Finale
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps failed to capitalize on an outstanding pitching performance as their offense faltered in a 3-0 loss to the Lake County Captains Tuesday night in front of 6,257 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Robbie Welhaf gave his team a tremendous start, tying a career-best seven innings and only giving up two hits and one run. The offense, however, managed only three singles in the finale of a four-game series. The three hits were the fewest since August 4 when the "Caps were one-hit in an 8-0 loss at Fort Wayne.
The Whitecaps did not get their first hit of the game off Captains starter Eli Lingos until the fourth inning when Parker Meadows stroked a two-out single. The single increased Meadows hit streak to nine games, but he was stranded on the base paths. Welhaf baffled the Captains through the first four innings, retiring twelve straight hitters. In the fifth, Bo Naylor laced a solid triple down the right-field line, the first hit off Welhaf. Two batters later Welhaf relinquished an RBI-single to Raynel Delgado which scored Naylor and provided a 1-0 margin for Lake County. In the eighth, a Cooper Johnson walk and a single by Wenceel Perez gave the "Caps their first inning with multiple base runners and their best scoring opportunity, but a Corey Joyce strikeout ended the threat. The ninth saw the Captains manufacture a pair of insurance runs as Daniel Schneemann placed a two-run single to center field off Whitecaps reliever Michael Bienlien to extend the lead to 3-0. Meadows reached on a fielding error in the bottom of the ninth for West Michigan, but a force-out and a fly ball out ended the game and gave the Captains a split in the four-game series. Only three base runners reached scoring position on the night for West Michigan as they left six on the base paths. The Whitecaps enjoyed a successful homestand, winning four of seven games and were led by a pitching staff that tallied a combined ERA of 2.35.
Welhaf (4-7) struck out three and walked none in absorbing the loss. Over the last 20 innings of work, Welhaf has given up only two earned runs and eight hits. Bienlien worked two innings, allowing two hits, two earned runs, and five strikeouts. An 0-3 night for Danny Reyes saw the Whitecaps outfielder snap a season-high nine-game hitting streak. The loss drops the Whitecaps season record to 42-84 in 2019 and 21-35 in the second-half standings. Lake County moves to 69-57 and 29-28. The Whitecaps failed to produce an extra-base hit in the contest and did not record a home run throughout their seven-game homestand.
The Whitecaps hit the road for a three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons from Dow Diamond Wednesday night at 7:05 pm. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty 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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