COMSTOCK PARK- – The West Michigan Whitecaps saw their bats come alive as a late mistake forced across the go-ahead run in a 5-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons Saturday afternoon at LMCU Ballpark.
The Whitecaps collected four doubles – including a multi-hit game from Steele Walker – as the West Michigan bullpen held Dayton to a 2-for-12 mark with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, Dragons’ pitcher Donovan Benoit balked in the eighth inning, allowing the game-winning run to cross the plate.
West Michigan scored in the first inning as Walker roped an RBI single.
Dayton responded in the fifth inning as Michael Trautwein blasted a two-run home run before Jose Serrano plated Jack Rogers on a line drive single to storm in front 3-1.
Whitecaps first baseman Dillon Paulson responded with an RBI in the sixth, trimming the lead to 3-2.
Serrano added his second RBI in the top of the seventh inning before the ‘Caps struck for two runs in the bottom half – featuring an RBI double from Jace Jung – leveling the game at 4-4.
Benoit flinched in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on third base before delivering a pitch, drawing a balk. Carlos Mendoza scored to take the 5-4 lead.
In the ninth, Luis Chevalier lifted a deep fly ball to left field as Walker dove to make a game-winning diving catch, slamming the door and earning the win.
The Whitecaps improve to 9-5 and are now tied for first place with the Lake County Captains in the Midwest League East Division.
Whitecaps reliever Blake Holub (2-0) tossed two shutout innings with three strikeouts in his second win.
Whitecaps shortstop Danny Serretti extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 1-for-4 with a run scored in the win.
The Whitecaps and Dragons finalize this six-game series at LMCU Ballpark with a Sunday matinee at 2:00 pm.
Pitchers Wilkel Hernandez and Jose Acuna make starts for West Michigan and Dayton respectively.
Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 1:45 pm. Get your tickets for all 2023 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.