COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps managed eleven hits but runs proved scarce in a 2-1 loss to Lake County Captains at Fifth Third Ballpark Thursday night.
The Whitecaps created a scoring opportunity in the first inning with a Cam Gibson double. Cole Bauml then smashed a hard-hit line-out to center, but Gibson, who tried to advance to third base, was deemed to had left second base early and was called out as part of a double play. Jake Robson and Blaise Salter hit back-to-back singles but the Captains Gabriel Mejia robbed Austin Athmann of a run-scoring hit by making an inning-ending sliding catch. Lake County scored their only runs in the second inning. Emmanuel Tapia reached base on a fielder's choice and Luke Wakamatsu stroked a two out single. Miguel Eladio, playing in his first game with Lake County, cleared the bases with a two-run double and provided the early Captains 2-0 lead.
West Michigan responded with their lone run in the same inning. A Drew Longley double to the wall in left center field and a Josh Lester flair single to centerfield all came with no outs. Anthony Pereira's single into right field, his seventh RBI of the season, scored Longley and represented the only run of the night for West Michigan making it a 2-1 game. The Whitecaps counted a season best three doubles as part of the hit tally while Lake County countered with eight hits. Robson, Longley and Salter each recorded two hits on the night, and Josh Lester chipped in with his first multi-hit game of the year.
Eudis Idrogo made the start for West Michigan and allowed five hits, one walk and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Trent Szkutnik provided 2.1 innings of two-hit baseball in relief for the 'Caps and Jason Foley pitched a scoreless ninth inning. The Whitecaps suffered their third straight loss and have lost their last five games to Lake County dating back to last season. Idrogo (0-1) picked up the loss but went at least five innings for the third straight start. Lake County starter Shane Bieber strung together six innings of solid pitching, despite surrendering nine hits. Bieber (2-1) earned the victory and has not relinquished a walk all season. Justin Garza picked up the save with three innings in relief. The Whitecaps record falls to 6-5, while Fort Wayne won their fourth straight game to move to 8-5.