The West Michigan Whitecaps came within a strike of picking up a win, but a game-tying home run by Mitch Hansen, and a walk-off homer by Carlos Rincon gave the Great Lakes Loons a come-from-behind victory by a score of 4-3 in 11 innings Friday night at Dow Diamond.
A win in Friday night's contest would've guaranteed the Whitecaps their best month of June in team history, but will settle for its second-best mark at 17-7.
The Loons took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a two-run single by Cody Thomas to open the scoring, and the score remained the same until the eighth. Danny Woodrow's groundout scored David Gonzalez to tie the game at two, and Cole Bauml brought home Zac Shepherd with the go-ahead run on a ninth-inning groundball to take a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, 'Caps reliever Jake Shull surrendered the game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning on a 3-2 pitch to Loong designated hitter Mitch Hansen, his fourth of the season which traveled an estimated 428 feet to tie the game at three. The game remained tied until the 11th inning, and ended when Great Lakes outfielder Carlos Rincon - the winner of this year's Midwest League Home Run Derby - belted his 13th home run of the season off West Michigan reliever Locke St. John to win the contest.
Christian Stolo (3-2) earned the win for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, while St. John (1-4) took his fourth loss of the season. The Loons improve to 6-3 in the second portion of the season, while the loss drops the Whitecaps to 7-2 in the second half and 52-24 overall. With the Friday loss, the team is now 9-2 in extra innings. Austin Athmann and Danny Pinero each had two hits for the 'Caps in a losing cause.