COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps got a huge swing from first baseman Rey Rivera as errors plagued the Dayton Dragons in a 6-4 ‘Caps victory in front of a season-high 6,750 fans Saturday night at LMCU Ballpark.
Rivera, the ‘Caps home run leader in 2021, blasted a two-run go-ahead homer as Dayton committed four errors – more than any other game this season. Meanwhile, Whitecaps starter Austin Bergner collected enjoyed his longest outing on the season, tossing five innings while allowing just one run on four strikeouts.
The Dragons scored in the opening inning as Victor Ruiz laced an RBI-single to put Dayton in front 1-0. The Whitecaps responded with a tally in the bottom of the first as Eric De La Rosa roped a triple before an errant throw from cutoff man Reyny Reyes brought De La Rosa home, tying the game at 1-1. In the third inning, Andrew Navigato lifted a sacrifice fly to put West Michigan in front 2-1. West Michigan plated two more in the sixth before Dayton responded with three runs in the seventh. Michael Siani and Francisco Urbaez pounded back-to-back RBIs before a throwing error on ‘Caps catcher Cooper Johnson scored Siani, tying the game at 4-4. Gage Workman drew a walk with one out in the eighth, opening the door for a Rey Rivera two-run bomb before Bryce Tassin closed out the ninth to send West Michigan on to the victory.
‘Caps bullpen arm Jared Tobey (2-1) struck out one Dayton hitter through 1.2 innings of work in his second victory on the season as Tassin collected his third save in the win. Dragons reliever Sam Hellinger (1-1) recorded just one out while allowing two runs in his first loss on the year. The Whitecaps improve to 40-43 as the Dragons fall to 43-40. Ulrich Bojarski finished 2-for-3 with an RBI tonight, marking the first time the 22-year-old outfielder has recorded multiple hits in back-to-back games this year.
The Whitecaps and Dragons conclude this seven-game series from LMCU Ballpark Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm. West Michigan sends pitcher Garrett Hill, the winner of the first game of this series back on Tuesday, to the mound against Dragons pitcher Eduardo Salazar. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 1:45 pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.