EASTLAKE, OH – The West Michigan Whitecaps enjoyed a quality start from pitcher Keider Montero and a four-hit game from Bryant Packard but only tallied five total hits total as part of a 3-0 shutout loss to the Lake County Captains on Sunday afternoon at Classic Park.
The shutout marks the fourth time this season West Michigan has failed to produce a run and first since June 8 in a 2-0 loss at LMCU Ballpark to the Lansing Lugnuts. The Whitecaps finished the series having lost five of six games to the Captains after sweeping the Captains at home from May 25-30.
Montero started the contest for West Michigan and limited the Captains to just two runs despite tying a career-high by giving up nine base hits. The 20-year-old saved his best work for last. After giving up three consecutive singles to start the sixth, Montero struck out the next three batters on swinging third strikes to escape the inning without giving up a run.
Montero’s only blemishes came in the first inning when Bryan Rocchio blasted a solo home run – his sixth of the season – before a run scored on a fielder’s choice in the sixth. In the seventh, catcher Bryan Lavastida recorded an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0 and give Lake County a vital insurance tally to conclude the scoring. Meanwhile, outfielder Bryant Packard enjoyed his best game of the season, collecting four hits, including a double out of the leadoff spot in a losing cause.
Montero (2-5) posted a quality start while striking out six to take his fifth loss. Captains starter Mason Hickman (3-2) dominated with six scoreless innings without walking a batter and striking out nine to earn his third win. Nathan Ocker pitched a scoreless final two frames to notch his first save of the season. Lake County improves its record to 23-19 by taking five of the six games of the series, while the ‘Caps fall to 20-21. Packard’s four-hit day marks the second time the ‘Caps had a single-player enjoy a four-hit performance. First baseman Rey Rivera was the first to produce a four-hit game on May 27 – also against Lake County – at LMCU Ballpark.
The Whitecaps return to LMCU Ballpark for a six-game series with the first-place Dayton Dragons beginning Tuesday at 7:05 pm. West Michigan sends pitcher Brendan White to the hill against Dragons righty Noah Davis. 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.