Rattlers Manage Just Two Hits in Loss

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps shut out the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-0 on two hits on Friday night at LMCU Ballpark.  Five Whitecaps pitchers combined on the shutout, their second of the series between the teams this week.

West Michigan (45-40 overall, 14-5 second half) took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning.  Bryant Packard reached on an infield single.  Josh Crouch followed with an RBI double.  The Whitecaps have scored first in each of the first four games of this series.

The first three Whitecaps to bat in the bottom of the third reached on singles to load the bases.  Packard drove in a run with a weak grounder to short where he was retired at first.  A two-out wild pitch allowed the second run of the inning to score.

Zavier Warren singled with two outs in the top of the fifth for Wisconsin’s first base runner of the game.  Whitecaps starter Keider Montero retired the first fourteen Rattlers he faced.  Ethan Murray followed with a single to bring the tying run to the plate.  However, Montero got a strikeout to end the threat.  Montero pitched five innings, allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out five

Packard stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Wes Clarke and Warren walked with one out in the top of the seventh inning on eight straight balls from reliever Ted Stuka to give Wisconsin (48-36, 12-7) a chance to climb back into the game.  However, Stuka escaped the jam with an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

The Whitecaps added to their lead again in the seventh inning.  Trei Cruz singled, took second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a grounder.  Holton drove in Cruz with a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.  The lead-off batter reached base four times in the game for West Michigan.  That lead-off batter scored all four times in the game.

In the eighth, Arbert Cipion drew a lead-off walk against Gio Arriera, the fourth West Michigan pitcher of the game, to become the first Rattler batter to reach back to start an inning in the game.  He was left stranded at second base when the inning ended.

Andrew Magno closed out the game for the Whitecaps with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

West Michigan recorded their league-leading eleventh shutout of the season with this win over the Rattlers.

Game five of the series is Saturday night at LMCU Ballpark.  Justin Jarvis (7-4, 3.93) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers.  West Michigan has named Brant Hurter (2-0, 3.52) as their starter.  Game time is 5:35pm CDT.  The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio starting with the pregame show at 5:15pm.  This game is also available to MiLB.tv subscribers.