COMSTOCK PARK, MI – Pitcher Dylan Smith enjoyed his best start of the season as one giant swing helped propel the West Michigan Whitecaps past the Great Lakes Loons 4-0 in front of 6,608 fans Friday night at LMCU Ballpark.
Smith posted six innings of shutout baseball with six strikeouts as Whitecaps pitching allowed just three hits. Meanwhile, Izaac Pacheco blasted a three-run home run in the shutout victory. Despite the win, the night ended with a hint of disappointment as they were unable to gain a game on the division-leading Lake County Captains, who rallied to walk-off the Fort Wayne TinCaps with a 6-5 win at Classic Park. One more West Michigan loss or Lake County win in the final two games of the regular season will clinch the second-half division championship for Lake County.
West Michigan struck for all of their offense in the first inning, as Jake Holton pounded an RBI single before Pacheco added his three-run bomb, taking a commanding 4-0 lead. Great Lakes had two runners on in the following two innings but could not capitalize, maintaining the 4-0 ‘Caps lead. The Whitecaps had three hits the rest of the game as Great Lakes managed just three as Bryce Tassin, Cam Brown, and Blake Holub combined to allow just one hit through three innings with a pair of strikeouts to slam the door and earn the 4-0 shutout victory.
Smith (8-6) secures his eighth win as Fort Wayne pitcher Robbie Peto (6-1) suffers his first loss, allowing four runs through six innings. The Whitecaps improve to 71-59 and 40-24 in the second half. The Loons fall to 76-54 and 36-28 in the second half. With the victory, Brayan Pena earns his 200th career managerial win. Justice Bigbie finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the winning effort. Since his promotion to West Michigan, Bigbie has a .407 batting average with four doubles, a home run, and seven runs driven in.
The Whitecaps host the Loons in the penultimate game of the 2022 regular season on Saturday at 6:35 pm. Detroit Tigers Top Prospect Jackson Jobe gets the start on the mound against righty Kendall Williams. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
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