COMSTOCK PARK – The West Michigan Whitecaps rallied from behind to top Fort Wayne 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at LMCU Ballpark.
West Michigan drew eight walks in the contest as all-but-one batter drew a free pass in the close game. Additionally, seven ‘Caps pitchers combined to allow one run while collecting five strikeouts and holding Fort Wayne to an 0-for-5 performance with runners in scoring position in the narrow victory.
The TinCaps struck first in the third inning as Nerwilian Cedeño plated Jakob Marsee on an RBI single, delivering Fort Wayne the 1-0 lead.
Neither team could break out in the middle innings as TinCaps reliever Miguel Cienfuegos allowed just one hit in three frames. At the same time, Whitecaps pitchers Keider Montero, Zack Hess, and Angel Reyes returned the favor with three shutout frames, keeping the score at 1-0.
In the seventh, the Whitecaps drew four straight walks tying the game at one before Ben Malgeri smoked an RBI single, and Jace Jung drew a bases-loaded free pass to surge in front 3-1.
The TinCaps failed to rally in the final two innings as Whitecaps relievers Blake Holub and Tyler Mattison posted two shutout frames to earn the 3-1 victory.
The Whitecaps improve to 3-0 while the TinCaps fall to 0-3.
Whitecaps relief pitcher Williander Moreno (1-0) got the last out of the seventh inning to earn his first victory. Meanwhile, closer Tyler Mattison secured his second save of the season with a shutout ninth inning to deliver West Michigan the victory.
Fort Wayne reliever Aaron Holiday (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing three earned runs while walking three batters and failing to record an out.
Whitecaps pitchers held Fort Wayne to a .166 batting average with 20 strikeouts in the series sweep.
The Whitecaps make their first road trip of the 2023 season as they travel to Jackson Field to face the Lansing Lugnuts in a six-game series beginning on Tuesday, April 11, at 6:05 pm.
Lefty Jack O’Loughlin makes his 2023 debut regular season on the mound against Lugnuts righty Christian Fernandez.
Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 5:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2023 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.