COMSTOCK PARK, MI –A five-run fifth inning coupled with dominant pitching doomed the West Michigan Whitecaps as part of a 7-5 loss to the Great Lakes Loons Tuesday night at LMCU Ballpark.
Loons pitchers posted a combined 13 strikeouts while holding the Whitecaps to a 2-for-10 mark with runners in scoring position.
The Whitecaps have now dropped seven out of their last eight games. Meanwhile, Great Lakes matched their season-high for runs scored in an inning, piling on five runs in the fifth to secure the victory.
The Loons struck for a run in the top half of the third inning before the Whitecaps responded with four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by an RBI-double from Ben Malgeri to take a 4-1 lead.
Ismael Alcantara added an RBI-single in the fifth inning before a bases-loaded walk, wild pitch, and back-to-back sacrifice flies from Eddys Leonard and Jorbit Vivas forged the Loons back in front 6-4. Aldrich De Jongh added a solo homer in the seventh before Andrew Navigato plated Wenceel Perez on a sacrifice fly an inning later.
However, West Michigan failed to rally as Great Lakes relievers Michael Hobbs, Braydon Fisher, Ryan Sublette, and Jose Hernandez combined to allow just one run on one hit with eight strikeouts through the last 6.2 frames to secure the 7-5 win.
Hobbs (1-0) got his first win of the year, throwing 2.1 scoreless frames with a strikeout as Hernandez secures his first save, punching out three of the last four ‘Caps hitters.
Whitecaps starter Carlos Guzman (1-2) suffered his second loss, allowing six runs through four innings. Jose Hernandez retired the final four West Michigan hitters to collect his first save of the season.
The Loons improved to 6-10 as the Whitecaps fell to 7-9.
The Whitecaps continue this six-game series with the Great Lakes Loons from LMCU Ballpark with a Wednesday matinee at 12:05 pm. Lefty Jack O’Loughlin gets the start for West Michigan against the Loons, while Detroit Tigers Top-10 prospect Dylan Smith is scheduled to pitch in relief. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 11:50 am. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.