COMSTOCK PARK – –The West Michigan Whitecaps tied their Wednesday afternoon game in the ninth inning but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-2 in extra-innings in front of 5,749 fans at LMCU Ballpark.
Whitecaps starter Matt Walker had one of his best outings, striking out six Wisconsin hitters without a walk through five scoreless innings. Still, the ‘Caps could not take advantage of several scoring opportunities, finishing 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the narrow defeat.
Walker held the Timber Rattlers scoreless without allowing a runner to advance into scoring position through the first five innings, as Carlos Mendoza lifted a sacrifice fly in the second inning, putting the ‘Caps on top 1-0.
Wisconsin pitcher Israel Puello was just as impressive, allowing one run through seven innings with five strikeouts as the Timber Rattlers scored individual runs in the sixth and seventh innings, featuring an RBI single from Central Michigan product Zavier Warren, forging in front 2-1.
West Michigan roped three-straight singles in the ninth inning but only managed to plate one run, as Jake Holton scored on a sacrifice fly from Ben Malgeri to even the game at 2-2.
Neither team scored in the 10th inning before Wisconsin exploded for three runs in the top of the 11th, highlighted by an RBI triple from Tristen Peters, to take the commanding 5-2 lead.
The ‘Caps failed to rally in the bottom half, as closer Taylor Floyd induced three-straight flyouts to send Wisconsin to the victory.
Floyd (1-1) collected his first win, allowing the game-tying run in the ninth before retiring the side in the 11th.
Whitecaps closer Andrew Magno (1-1) sufferered his first loss, allowing three runs through just one inning with a pair of walks.
The Timber Rattlers improve to 45-37 (12-5 in the second half) as the Whitecaps fall to 43-40 (12-5 in the second half).
Whitecaps pitching didn’t allow a single runner to advance to second base on no walks through the first 14 innings of this series. Furthermore, Walker tied his single-game career high in strikeouts with six in the tough-luck loss.
The Whitecaps continue this six-game series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Thursday at 6:35 pm. Ty Madden gets the start for the Whitecaps against Timber Rattlers lefty Russell Smith. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.