The West Michigan Whitecaps exploded for six runs in the second inning and Spenser Watkins pitched a dominant seven innings, as the Caps beat the Peoria Chiefs 11-1 in front of 7,598 fans Wednesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps’ second inning began with a few lucky breaks, with the Chiefs committing three errors. A throwing error by Peoria shortstop Edmundo Sosa led to the first two runs of the inning before Franklin Navarro tripled to left-center to score Leo Laffita.
Run-scoring singles from Derek Hill, Will Maddox and Brett Pirtle capped off the biggest inning for West Michigan since they scored nine in a 15-10 win over Great Lakes on July 5.
The Whitecaps tallied single runs in the fourth and sixth before Cam Gibson launched a three-run home run down the right-field line in the seventh to conclude West Michigan’s offensive outburst. Gibson’s homer was his third home run of the season, all of which have come at Fifth Third Ballpark, and are the only three Whitecaps home runs the team has hit at home this season.
Watkins was fantastic, keeping Chiefs hitters off-balance all night. He allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out five to earn his third win in as many decisions. Every Whitecaps player recorded at least one base hit in the contest, but Will Maddox and Franklin Navarro each record three hits to lead the offense.