MIDLAND, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps enjoyed some tremendous performances up-and-down their lineup on Saturday while enjoying clutch pitching as part of a 7-4 win over the Great Lakes Loons in front of 4.222 fans Saturday night at Dow Diamond.
The bottom of the Whitecaps lineup led the offense as Jimmy Kerr, Cooper Johnson, and Gresuan Silverio collected seven of the teams’ 12 hits, including six of them being doubles as part of the victory. A win on Sunday would give the Whitecaps their first since sweeping the Lake County Captains in a six-game series from May 25-30 at LMCU Ballpark.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring when Gresuan Silverio, making his first start with the team, blasted an RBI-double off the wall in center field in the third to score Jimmy Kerr. Second Baseman Wenceel Perez followed with a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 2-0. In the third, Silverio came through again with a run-scoring bloop single to score Cooper Johnson and extend the lead to 3-0. The Loons scored a run in the third, but Parker Meadows plated Perez an inning later with a fielder’s choice to bring the game to 4-1 in favor of the ‘Caps. The Loons Jonny DeLuca cracked a solo homer in the fifth to bring Great Lakes within a run at 4-2 but stranded the bases loaded as Whitecaps starting pitcher Adam Wolf struck out Brandon Lewis before getting Andy Pages to pop out to Kerr to end the threat. Pages homered twice and drove in all five runs in Friday’s 5-4 Loons win over the ‘Caps.
Eric De La Rosa drove in a run with an infield single in the sixth to give West Michigan a 5-2 lead as both teams continued to trade runs in the middle innings. After the Loons plated another run in the sixth, the ‘Caps scored a pair of insurance runs in the eighth win an RBI-double by Johnson – his third double of the night – before another run-scoring single by Perez to take a 7-3 lead. DeLuca homered again in the eighth with a solo shot, but the Loons went 1-2-3 in the ninth as the ‘Caps guaranteed a split of their six-game series with three wins in the first five games of the six-game set at Great Lakes.
Wolf (3-2) finished throwing five innings and giving up two runs while striking out five to win his second straight start, third as a Whitecap, and fifth of the season. Loons pitcher Jesus Vargas (5-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in 3.2 frames while striking out six in suffering his fourth loss of the year. Zack Hess pitched a scoreless ninth for the ‘Caps in collecting his team-high eighth save of the season. The Whitecaps record jumps to 36-40 this season, while the Loons fall to 42-35. Johnson became the first ‘Caps player to collect a three-double game since Eliezer Alfonzo accomplished the feat on June 3 in a game at Dow Diamond against the Loons earlier this season.
The Whitecaps play the final game of this six-game series from Dow Diamond in Midland on Sunday at 1:05 pm. West Michigan sends reliever-turned-starter Austin Bergner to the mound against the Loons Clayton Beeter. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 12:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.