FORT WAYNE, IN – The West Michigan Whitecaps got home runs off the Midwest League ERA leader and big outs in clutch situations as part of a 4-2 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in front of 5,512 fans on Thursday night at Parkview Field.  

The Whitecaps hit a pair of home runs in the third inning off TinCaps starter Noel Vela, who entered the game with a Midwest League-leading 0.34 ERA.

Ulrich Bojarski and Jake Holton went deep in the frame, while the Whitecaps got out of huge jams with multiple baserunners in four of the last six innings.

Thursday marks the second time West Michigan has won consecutive games on the road this season.

The Whitecaps built their lead in the third inning when Bojarski led off the frame with his third homer – a solo shot to help West Michigan score the first run of the contest. Later in the third, Holton smashed a 3-0 pitch onto the left-field concourse for his fourth home run of the season and second of the series to blow the game open at 4-0.

After the TinCaps plated their first run in the fourth, they tallied another in the sixth but left seven runners on base in the process. A double play induced by Jared Tobey, pitching for West Michigan as part of a minor league rehab assignment, got them out of trouble in the sixth.

Reliever Gio Arriera (3-0) was superb in two scoreless innings out of the ‘Caps bullpen to record his third victory of 2022, while Vela (1-1) pitched just 2.1 innings, giving up all four West Michigan runs to increase his ERA to 1.55 in suffering his first loss.

Andrew Magno pitched a scoreless ninth, finishing it with a game-ending strikeout of Top-100 MLB Prospect Robert Hassell III to end the contest and earn his fourth save.

The Whitecaps record improves to 16-20, while Fort Wayne falls to 14-22. Holton and Crouch each enjoyed multi-hit performances in the victory. The two-hit game for Crouch gives him two hits in each of the three games in the series. The ‘Caps picked up the win despite committing a season-high three errors. 


The West Michigan Whitecaps continue this six-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps Friday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Carlos Guzman, who just celebrated his 24th birthday, gets the start for West Michigan against Fort Wayne’s Efrain Contreras.

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.