FORT WAYNE, IN – The West Michigan Whitecaps broke through in a big way as they enjoyed a five-run fifth inning and seven-run ninth as part of a 16-6 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps in front of 2,149 fans on Saturday night at Parkview Field.
The 16 runs mark the highest total the Whitecaps have posted since a 16-1 win over Lansing on June 24, 2017.
Saturday’s game played to a scoreless tie until the fourth inning when Daniel Cabrera gave West Michigan its first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to score Spencer Torkelson and take a 1-0 lead. Augustin Ruiz drilled a two-run homer at the bottom of the frame, his second in as many days to take a 2-1 lead. In the fifth, Torkelson enjoyed his first big moment as a Whitecap, lacing a two-run, go-ahead single to take a 3-2 edge. Torkelson’s hit opened the flood gates as Andre Lipcius added a two-run triple later in the frame to expand the West Michigan advantage to 5-2. After both teams traded single runs, the ‘Caps added three seventh-inning tallies, highlighted by a Daniel Cabrera run-scoring double to take a 9-3 lead.
West Michigan exploded for seven more runs as Corey Joyce and Parker Meadows smacked two-run doubles in the ninth. Dillon Dingler finished the scoring with a solo home run to finish the ‘Caps enormous offensive output.
Whitecaps reliever Yaya Chentouf (1-0) allowed a run in 1.1 innings out of the bullpen to collect his first victory of the season, while Fort Wayne pitcher Felix Minjarez (1-1) gave up five runs in two-thirds of a frame to take his first loss of the year. The Whitecaps record improves to 2-3 and gives them a chance to earn a split of this six-game set in the series finale on Sunday, while the TinCaps record falls to 3-2. Each Whitecaps player collected at least one hit as Lipcius led the way with a single, double, and triple in a 3-for-6 performance. In addition, 2021 first overall draft choice Spencer Torkelson enjoyed his best professional game, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a double, stolen base, and three RBI.
There are only eight games in franchise history where the Whitecaps have scored more than 16 runs – the last coming in a 17-7 win over the Dayton Dragons on August 1, 2014.
This six-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps concludes with a Sunday matinee beginning at 1:35 pm. The Whitecaps turn to opening night starting pitcher Keider Montero to face off with lefty Ethan Elliott for Fort Wayne. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 1:20 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.