MIDLAND, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps missed a chance to get a split of a six-game series as part of an 8-4 loss to the Great Lakes Loons on Sunday afternoon at Dow Diamond.
The loss gives the Loons a 4-2 win in the weeklong series, marking the second time this season in which Great Lakes has taken four of six games over West Michigan.
Like each of the past two games, the Loons set the tone early in the contest. Miguel Vargas blasted his fifth homer of the season – a solo shot to give Great Lakes a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, Carson Taylor lifted a two-run double to expand the Loons advantage to 3-0. In the third, Spencer Torkelson found the left-field corner with a run-scoring double to cut the Whitecaps deficit to 3-1, but Zac Ching delivered a two-run double to the bottom of the inning, highlight a 6-1 Great Lakes lead. After West Michigan tallied a run in the fifth, Ching brought home another run with a run-scoring single to bring the Loons edge to 8-2. Jose King launched a two-run homer in the ninth to conclude the scoring as Great Lakes gave the ‘Caps a third straight loss for the first time this season.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Beau Brieske (1-2) gave up a season-high six runs in three innings to take his second loss of the season. Loons reliever Cole Percival (2-0) tossed three innings of relief to collect his second win. The Whitecaps record falls 16-13 while the Loons improve to 16-14, but the Whitecaps keep their hold on first place in the High-A Central Eastern Division. Torkelson went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, while King also reached base three times with two runs scored and his second home run in a losing cause. Ching led Great Lakes with his third-straight game with three RBI. Of Ching’s 13 RBI this season, 12 of them have come against the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps now hold a 4-8 record against Great Lakes this season, while they’re 12-5 against the rest of the High-A Central League.
The Whitecaps return home to 100% capacity at LMCU Ballpark to open a six-game series against the in-state rival Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday at 7:05 pm. West Michigan sends righty Jesus Rodriguez to the mound against a Lugnuts starter to be determined. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.