Whitecaps Pull Into 1st-Place Tie

West Michigan Whitecaps

BELOIT, WI – The West Michigan Whitecaps watched Wilkel Hernandez toss five dominant innings while striking out six batters as part of a 5-3 victory over the Beloit Sky Carp on Friday night at ABC Supply Stadium.
West Michigan, now 15-10 on the season, pull into a three-way first-place tie

BELOIT, WI – The West Michigan Whitecaps watched Wilkel Hernandez toss five dominant innings while striking out six batters as part of a 5-3 victory over the Beloit Sky Carp on Friday night at ABC Supply Stadium.

West Michigan, now 15-10 on the season, pull into a three-way first-place tie with the Lake County Captains and Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League Eastern Division. Hernandez (1-2) held the Sky Carp to just one hit to pick up his first win of the season. The 23-year-old righty has not been scored upon in his last two starts spanning nine total innings.

The start to Friday’s contest resembled the beginning of Tuesday’s series opener when West Michigan scored nine runs in the first three innings. On Friday, the ‘Caps plated five runs in the first three frames. Eliezer Alfonzo’s RBI-single gave West Michigan a 1-0 lead. The single was controversial, as it appeared that the baseball cleared the right field wall and went over the yellow line for a home run but was never ruled as such, holding Alfonzo to a single. In the third, with West Michigan up 2-0, first baseman Chris Meyers blasted a three-run homer to extend the lead to 5-0. Meyers’s homer marks his fifth of the season, putting him in a second-place tie in the Midwest League. In the seventh, the Sky Carp got their first run on a solo homer from Jake Thompson, his third of the year and second of the series to trim the ‘Caps lead to 5-1. After Beloit plated a run in the eighth, a leaping catch by Izaac Pacheco robbed Beloit infielder Jake Thompson of a late rally to end the inning. The Sky Carp plated another run in the ninth, but reliever Chavez Fernander finished the inning without any further damage to clinch West Michigan a series split with the 5-3 victory.

The Whitecaps record improves to a season-best five-games over .500 at 15-10, while the Sky Carp fall to 15-9. Sky Carp starter Edgar Sanchez (1-2) allowed all five West Michigan runs in suffering his second loss of the season. Fernander picked up his second save with the ‘Caps this season. Meyers finished the contest 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and three RBI, while Eliezer Alfonzo reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances with two singles and two walks.

UP NEXT

The Whitecaps and Sky Carp play the penultimate game of their six-game series on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 4:05 pm. Lefty Carlos Pena, the reigning Midwest League Pitcher of the Month, takes the mound for West Michigan against fellow southpaw Zach King for Beloit. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 3:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2023 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

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