PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — When fans started filing in to the newly named LMCU Ballpark off West River Drive, things felt normal.
It took 623 days, but the West Michigan Whitecaps were back to kick off the season at home.
While the overall vibe of the game was a positive — one with baseball being back — the final score didn’t work out in the same tune for the Whitecaps.
The Great Lakes Loons were lifted by a five-run fifth inning and never looked back on its way to a 9-1 victory over the Whitecaps on Tuesday night.
The loss dropped the Whitecaps to 2-4 on the season, while the win moved the Loons to 2-5.
It didn’t take long for the Loons to get going.
The Whitecaps starter Keider Montero worked himself into early trouble, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Great Lakes’ Ryan Ward singled to right and gave the Loons an early 1-0 advantage.
After a scoreless second inning for the Loons, the third inning was the complete opposite. Great Lakes scored five runs, capped off by a three-run home run from Zac Ching off of Zac Shepherd. It broke the game wide open to a 6-0 lead for the Loons.
Meanwhile, the Whitecaps were held hitless until Parker Meadows broke through with a two-out single in the bottom of the third. Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler would follow with walks, but Austin Lipcius would ground out to second base to end West Michigan’s threat.
The Whitecaps would not put together another threat until the ninth inning where they got a sacrifice fly from Elizer Alfonso.
The Tigers top prospects of Parker Meadows, Spencer Torkelson, Dillon Dingler and Daniel Cabrera were a combined 1-for-10 with four walks. Meadows owned the hit and two of those walks, respectively. Dingler was hit by a pitch in his final at bat, while Cabrera reached on an error.
Meanwhile, every single Loon that played reached base at least once. They recorded 10 total hits with a home run.
Montero took the loss for the Whitecaps, allowing four runs on five hits in just two innings of work. He recorded three strikeouts to one walk.
West Michigan will be back in action Wednesday against the Loons, part of the six-game home stand against Great Lakes. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. from LCMU.