LANSING, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps and Lansing Lugnuts saw their benches empty as part of a frantic seventh and final inning as part of the ‘Caps being swept in a Wednesday doubleheader by scores of 7-1 and 6-5 at Jackson Field.
Wednesday’s nightcap saw both teams leave their dugouts after West Michigan took a short-lived lead in the seventh and final inning and saw bench warnings given to both teams.
Moments later, pitcher Angel Reyes hit Lansing outfielder Brayan Buelvas with the first pitch of the next inning and was ejected by home plate umpire Felix Neon before the Lugnuts completed their stunning comeback.
The Whitecaps now hold a 1-9 record in games decided by two runs or less.
In Game 1, the Whitecaps and Lugnuts played to a scoreless tie until the fourth inning, when Lansing scored a pair of runs followed by three more in the fifth on a three-run homer for Brayan Buelvas to take a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, catcher Josh Crouch celebrated his first game at the High-A level with a solo homer – his first as a Whitecap – to give West Michigan its only run.
In the bottom of the frame, Lawrence Butler launched a two-run homer off the left field foul pole to finish the Lansing outburst – covering seven runs in their final three turns at-bat – to finish off the ‘Caps in Game 1.
In the nightcap, infielder Wenceel Perez blasted a two-run homer, his fifth this season and fifth in the Whitecaps last ten games, to take a 2-0 lead.
The Lugnuts answered back almost instantly with solo homers by both Austin Beck and Brett Harris to tie the contest.
After Lansing plated a run in the second, Ben Malgeri’s game-tying RBI-double helped knot the match at three in the fourth.
The game remained tied until the seventh, when the ‘Caps scored two, only to be answered by three in the bottom of the inning.
A game-tying, two-run double by Euribiel Angeles and a passed ball by catcher Cooper Johnson combined to score the winning run and give Lansing the doubleheader sweep.
Erick Leal (2-1) struck out nine ‘Caps batters and gave up just one run in six innings to earn his second consecutive victory.
Detroit Tigers Top-10 prospect Dylan Smith (1-3) endured the rockiest start of his short professional career, giving up five runs in four frames while suffering his third loss.
Trayson Kubo (2-0) earned his second win in the nightcap, while Gabe Sequeira suffered his second loss in as many appearances.
The Whitecaps fall to last place in the Midwest League Eastern Division at 8-15, while the Lugnuts improve to 9-14.
Tigers Top-15 prospect Colt Keith collected three hits through the two games of the twinbill in a losing cause.
The Whitecaps continue this six-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts Thursday night from Jackson Field at 7:05 pm.
Pitcher Ty Madden gets the start for West Michigan against the Lugnuts Grant Holman.
Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.