The West Michigan Whitecaps have pulled themselves within one game of securing a third straight trip to the Midwest League playoffs following a 9-2 victory over the host Lansing Lugnuts Thursday night at Cooley Law School StadiumLSJ Logo incert.

The win, combined with South Bend’s victory over Lake County on Thursday, gives the Whitecaps a 1.5 game lead over Lake County for second place in the Eastern Division. The topwhitecaps logo not for feature art two teams in the division in the first half of the season are guaranteed a postseason playoff spot in September.

One more West Michigan win or Lake County loss in the final three games of the first half will clinch the playoff spot for the Whitecaps, who won the Midwest League championship last season.

Pitcher Kyle Dowdy put things in cruise-control on Thursday, tossing seven innings while allowing just two runs and striking out a career-high 11 batters.

The ‘Caps pounded out 19 hits, tying their season-high. Will Allen led the way with five hits, but Will Maddox also reached base five times by going 4-for-5 with a triple, walk and four runs scored. Derek Hill homered on the first pitch of the game.