Whitecaps complete sweep over Bowling Green

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps completed their first four-game sweep of the season with an 8-5 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Monday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark.

It was the seventh total series sweep for West Michigan (7-4, 48-53) this year, six of which have come at home. The Whitecaps improved their overall record to a season-high 15 games over .500 and continued their dominance at Fifth Third Ballpark, where the ‘Caps have won 15 of their last 17 games and boast a 30-13 record. 

The Whitecaps’ pitching staff controlled the first three wins of the series with just two runs allowed. In search of the sweep on Monday, however, it was the West Michigan offense that took center stage, rallying for six of their eight runs with two outs. 

The top three hitters in the batting order – Austin Schotts, Javier Betancourt and Raph Rhymes – led the way with two hits apiece, including three RBI for Rhymes as he increased his team-leading RBI total to 42. Willy Adames extended his hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning triple and is now batting .476 with eight runs scored and eight RBI during the streak. 

The ‘Caps took a lead in the opening frame and never gave it back. Schotts led off the first with a double and scored on a base hit by Rhymes. In the second inning, there were two on with two outs when Bennett Pickar, Schotts and Betancourt smacked consecutive run-scoring singles to push the advantage to 4-0. 

Bowling Green got a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to shave the deficit to 4-2, but Rhymes answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-out, two-run single to reassert a four-run cushion with a 6-2 score. 

Pat Leyland added an RBI-single in the fifth and Adames tripled and scored in the seventh. The Hot Rods tacked on some late runs to reach the 8-5 final. 

Jon Maciel (4-3) worked five strong innings for the victory. The right-hander from California struck out six without issuing a walk and scattered eight hits that led to only two runs. 

After a single inning of relief from Scott Sitz, Montreal Robertson (6) worked the final three frames to secure the series sweep. Though he earned his first save since May 6, Robertson was charged with two runs in the ninth inning to snap his scoreless innings streak at 12 innings. 

Bowling Green starter Jorge Rodriguez (2-5) was charged with six runs on eight hits in four innings for the loss. 

The Whitecaps continue their seven-game homestand at Fifth Third Ballpark on Tuesday night with a 7:00 p.m. first pitch against the Lansing Lugnuts. LHP Kevin Ziomek (6-5, 2.40) is scheduled to pitch for West Michigan against RHP Chase De Jong (0-4, 4.62) of Lansing as the Whitecaps’ popular Dime Dog Night series continues with 10-cent hot dogs. Season, group and individual tickets can be reserved by calling the Whitecaps’ front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com