COMSTOCK PARK– Infielder Carlos Mendoza delivered a walk-off single as the West Michigan Whitecaps downed the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8-7 in a ten-inning thriller Thursday night in front of 6,306 fans at LMCU Ballpark.
The Whitecaps topped the Timber Rattlers for the second time in three games, finishing 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
West Michigan used eight pitchers to secure the thrilling extra-inning victory. The contest was the second straight game which required extra frames between the two teams.
The Whitecaps struck in the second inning on back-to-back sacrifice flies from Ben Malgeri and Corey Joyce to push ahead 2-0.
Wisconsin responded with four runs in the top half of the third inning, featuring a two-run single from Wes Clarke before West Michigan collected a pair of runs in the bottom half on a two-run home run from Jake Holton, tying the game at 4-4.
Zavier Warren lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, putting the Timber Rattlers back in front 5-4. The Whitecaps exploded for three runs in the bottom half, highlighted by a two-run triple from Joyce, forging West Michigan in front 7-5.
The Timber Rattlers returned the favor with two tallies in the next frame, as Tristan Peters delivered a two-run single to tie the game at seven.
Neither team scored in the ninth before ‘Caps reliever Jack O’Loughlin induced Warren to bounce into a bases-loaded double play in the tenth to keep the game locked at 7-7.
West Michigan loaded the bases with no outs in the tenth before Mendoza roped a game-winning base hit to walk off the Timber Rattlers in ten innings, 8-7.
Whitecaps starter Ty Madden allowed four runs through 4.2 innings as O’Loughlin (2-0) picked up his second victory, going one inning with a strikeout. Timber Rattlers reliever Tyler Gillies (0-1) suffered his first season loss, allowing the game-winning run in the 10th without recording an out.
Mendoza finished the game 3-for-4 with two stolen bases as catcher Josh Crouch extended his hitting streak to 11 games while maintaining a .391 caught stealing percentage.
The Whitecaps improve to 44-40 and 13-5 in the second half, as Wisconsin falls to 45-38 and 12-6 in the second half.
The Whitecaps are scheduled to play the fourth game of this this six-game series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday at 6:35 pm.
Righty pitchers Keider Montero and Justin Bullock get the starts for the Whitecaps and Timber Rattlers. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.