GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) - The West Michigan Whitecaps took game three, with a 3-0 four hit shutout Friday night at Classic Park against the Lake County Captains. This completed a three game sweep, setting up a demanding season-ending series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Fort Wayne and the Whitecaps enter their last 3 games with identical 37-30 records as they match up in a three game season ending series. They start the series on Saturday with the Eastern Division's second Wild Card berth in their sights. The outcome of this series will decide who continues to the playoffs, and whose season ends too soon.
19-year-old Kyle Ryan (6-10) crushed the Captains Friday night when he threw six scoreless innings and gave up only 4 hits. The bullpen added three perfect innings as Kevan Hess retired all six batters he faced. Michael Torrealba (9) followed his performance and added a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
West Michigan broke the ice in the top of the third, when Josh Ashenbrenner looped a single over the head of the second baseman. Ashbrenner was moved to second base by a groundout and was brought home when Dixon Machado lined one into right-center.
The Whitecaps added one more in the sixth, and another for good measure in the ninth. Jordan Cooper (2-9) suffered the loss for Lake County, despite pitching a solid game of 8 hits through 7 innings.
The Whitecaps return home to close out their regular season in the nail-biting series against the Tincaps. The series against Fort Wayne will finalize who clinches a berth for the Eastern Division, and it begins 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night.
Brian Stoud (0-2, 7.07) for West Michigan will start against Matt Jackson (4-1, 1.99) of Fort Wayne. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting whitecapsbaseball.com.
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