FORT WAYNE, IN – The West Michigan Whitecaps scored their first run in nearly two years, but Luis Almanzar’s go-ahead two-run single in the sixth inning led to a 4-2 loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps in front of 1,368 fans on Wednesday night at Parkview Field.
Dillon Dingler provided an exciting moment to get West Michigan on the scoreboard for the first time since late 2019 with a solo home run in the second inning – his first professional homer to give the ‘Caps a 1-0 lead. After Fort Wayne tied the game in the third, Daniel Cabrera plated a run with a fielder’s choice to help the Whitecaps reclaim a 2-1 lead.
The score remained the same until the sixth, as Whitecaps relief pitcher Yaya Chentouf worked in and out of jams before Chavez Fernander entered the contest. The TinCaps rally started on a throwing error by shortstop Trei Cruz before a game-tying RBI-single to Justin Lopez evened the score at two. Later in the frame, Almanzar lined a single up the middle to score Michael Curry and Lopez to give Fort Wayne the 4-2 lead they never relinquished.
Fort Wayne reliever Edwin Bencomo (1-0) struck out nine of the 11 Whitecaps batters he retired in a scoreless appearance to collect his first win of the season, while Fernander (0-1) took his first loss in the contest. Fort Wayne closer Carter Loewen finished the game with a strikeout to end the ballgame and notch his first save of the year. At the plate, Dingler led the offense with the first ‘Caps multi-hit game of the season by going 2-for-4 with the homer to go along with some terrific defensive plays.
The Whitecaps struck out 16 times for the second straight game – which matches their season-high from the entire 2019 season.
This six-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps rolls on Thursday at 7:05 pm, with pitcher Chance Kirby getting the start for West Michigan against righty Anderson Espinoza for the TinCaps. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for select Whitecaps 2021 home contests by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.