Great Lakes Sinks Whitecaps in Game 1
MIDLAND, MI – A three-run seventh inning was the difference as the West Michigan Whitecaps dropped Game 1 of the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship to the Great Lakes Loons by a score of 4-1 Sunday night at Dow Diamond.
The Whitecaps enjoyed an early 1-0 lead in Game 1 after Josh Lester pounded a two-out double off the left field wall and scored on a run-scoring single by David Gonzalez in the second. Jake Henson tied the game in the fourth with an RBI-single of his own to knot the score at one. The score remained the same until the seventh when Saige Jenco lined a 3-2 pitch from Zac Houston into center field for a two-out, two-run single, giving the Loons a 3-1 lead. One pitch later, Brendan Davis plated a Great Lakes insurance run with a single to extend the lead to 4-1.
Ivan Vietez (1-0) earned his first win of the postseason with three scoreless innings in relief, while Toller Boardman (0-2) gave up two runs in suffering his second loss in as many postseason appearances. Shea Spitzbarth pitched a scoreless inning to finish the ballgame and pick up his first save of the playoffs. Azocar posted a 3-for-4 performance at the plate to the lead the ‘Caps in a losing cause. The Whitecaps loss puts the Loons one win away from reaching the Midwest League Championship with the series heading back to Fifth Third Ballpark for the final two games. West Michigan needs a win in Game 2 to force another winner-take-all Game 3 Tuesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark. In 2015, the Whitecaps lost the first game of the Eastern Division Championship to Lansing, but rallied to win the final two games on the road en route to their sixth Midwest League Title.
The Whitecaps attempt to extend their season in Game 2 of the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series against the Great Lakes Loons from Fifth Third Ballpark Monday at 6:35pm. Sandy Baez gets the start for the Whitecaps against Great Lakes lefty Victor Gonzalez.