COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps settled for a split of their six-game series with a 6-2 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts Sunday afternoon at LMCU Ballpark, but the big story came after the ballgame.
After the loss to Lansing, Whitecaps infielder Spencer Torkelson and catcher Dillon Dingler were promoted to the Double-A Erie SeaWolves in an announcement made by the Detroit Tigers.
The two thrived during their brief time in West Michigan. Torkelson, the Tigers No. 1 prospect, hit .312 with five home runs and 28 RBI in only 31 games while ranking in the top of the High-A Central League in multiple categories. The 21-year-old first overall pick led the league with a 1.009 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) while placing second in RBI (28) on-base percentage (.440) and slugging percentage (.569) and tied for third in both doubles (11) and walks (24). Dingler, the Tigers No. 4 prospect, hit .287 with a .376 on-base percentage while leading the team with eight home runs, which tied for fifth in the High-A Central. The 2020 second-round pick also ranked fourth in slugging percentage (.549), fourth in OPS (.925), fifth in base hits (35), and fifth in total bases (67). Both are expected to be active and in the lineup for the SeaWolves when they open a six-game series at home against the Altoona Curve on Tuesday night.
As for Sunday’s contest, the Whitecaps left eight runners on base while going 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the loss. Lansing plated a pair of runs through the first two innings to jump in front 2-0. West Michigan responded with two runs in the third inning as Trei Cruz laced an RBI-single before Torkelson added his eighth RBI of the series to tie it at 2-2. The Lugnuts retook the lead in the fourth inning. They never looked back, crossing four runs through the final six frames – featuring a solo home run from Drew Millas – as the ‘Caps loaded the bases in the ninth but were unable to capitalize, dropping the series finale, 6-2.
Whitecaps starter Jesus Rodriguez (1-3) tossed five innings, allowing four runs on five hits in his third loss of the season. Lugnuts starting pitcher Dalton Sawyer (2-0) pitched only 1.1 innings of shutout baseball in his second victory in 2021. The Lugnuts improve to 17-19 as the Whitecaps fall to 19-16. The Lansing Lugnuts evened the overall series between the cross-state rivals at 193-193 with the victory. Lugnuts catcher Drew Millas finished 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and a solo home run in the winning effort.
The Whitecaps hit the road for a six-game series against the Lake County Captains from Eastlake beginning Tuesday night at 7:05. West Michigan sends pitcher Keider Montero to the mound to begin the ‘Caps weeklong trip to Ohio. 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.