COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps were unable to hold a 7-0 lead but managed to rally for a 9-8 walkoff victory over the Great Lakes Loons Wednesday night at LMCU Ballpark – marking the ‘Caps first home victory since August 25, 2019.
Daniel Cabrera’s game-tying RBI-double in the ninth set up a wild pitch that scored the Tigers 2020 second round pick from third base to win the contest in the first walkoff victory for West Michigan since May of 2019.
The Whitecaps took advantage of poor pitching early, plating seven runs through the first three innings as the Loons committed two errors while walking six as Parker Meadows, Andre Lipcius, and Dillon Dingler combined for four RBIs to take a commanding 7-0 advantage. ‘Caps starting pitcher Garrett Hill, and bullpen arms, Zach Hess and Brendan White held down the fort for West Michigan on the mound – punching out 10 Great Lakes hitters through the first six innings while only allowing two hits – both of them solo home runs – holding the West Michigan advantage at 7-2. Great Lakes began their comeback push in the eighth as Miguel Vargas and Deacon Liput both drove in runs – narrowing the West Michigan lead to 7-4.
In the top of the ninth, the Loons loaded the bases with none out before single and a hit-by-pitch allowed a pair of Great Lakes runners to cross – ending ‘Caps closer Ruben Garcia’s night and cutting the lead to just one, 7-6. Yaya Chentouf came on in relief for the Whitecaps with the bases loaded and still none out, striking out two Great Lakes batters before two critical West Michigan fielding errors forged Great Lakes out in front by a score of 8-7. The ‘Caps responded in the bottom half, as Daniel Cabrera pulled off some late-game heroics, lacing a game-tying RBI-double before scoring on a wild pitch to send the home crowd into hysterics and put the finishing touches on a 9-8 victory, and the first Whitecaps win in West Michigan in almost two years.
Chentouf (2-0) captured his second win of the season with one inning while allowing no earned runs on a pair of strikeouts in the victory. Loons reliever, Morgan Cooper (0-1), lasted only 1.2 frames while allowing a pair of runs on two hits in his first defeat of the 2021 campaign. The Whitecaps improve to 3-4 on the season while the Loons fall to 2-6. Six West Michigan pitchers combined to strike out 13 Loons hitters – the most in a single game so far this season – while every Whitecaps hitter was able to reach base in the seesaw victory.
This six-game series against the Great Lakes Loons continues Thursday at 6:35 pm. The Whitecaps send pitcher Chance Kirby to the mound against lefty Alec Gamboa for Great Lakes. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for select Whitecaps 2021 home contests by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.