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Whitecaps 2, TinCaps 1: A.J. Ladwig powers West Michigan to Midwest League Division Finals

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Big hits and a sensational outing from right hander A.J. Ladwig steer West Michigan to Round 2 of the Midwest League playoffs.

Emily Waldon / Bless You Boys

For the second night in a row, Fort Wayne got a taste of West Michigan pitching at its finest. After leading West Michigan in the wins column during the regular season with a 12-9 record, righthander A.J. Ladwig fanned seven in seven strong innings, allowing only one run to the TinCaps. Through a combination of solid relief work out of the West Michigan bullpen and exceptional work at the plate, the Whitecaps held on for a 2-1 victory and Midwest League quarterfinal victory.

West Michigan started their scoring activity in the third inning when a wild pitch from Fort Wayne moved Ross Kivett across the plate for the first West Michigan run of the night. With a quiet streak at the plate now a distant memory, Kade Scivicque helped to lead the Whitecaps by posting a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the fifth inning to give West Michigan the go-ahead run, again scoring Kivett on the drive.

Kivett led the Whitecaps offense with three hits, but the top of the lineup was a constant threat. Their first four hitters combined for seven of West Michigan's 10 hits, including Scivicque's double and a walk.

Twenty-year-old Gerson Moreno cooked the radar gun in relief for Ladwig, punching 101 miles per hour against the TinCaps and holding Fort Wayne silent at the plate. Moreno steamrolled to a final pitch of 101 miles per hour to power the Whitecaps to a Division Quarterfinal victory.

HITS:

Kade Scivicque: Following a veritable drought at the plate in his last 10 games, Scivicque came into Thursday evening in style. Scivicque punched a pair of hits, including the decisive RBI double that drove in the go-ahead run to score Ross Kivett and give just the right amount of insurance to advance West Michigan to round two.

MISSES:

Following a sizzling opening portion to the season, uncharacteristic silence at the plate from Michael Gerber continued into Thursday evening, as he posted his fourth consecutive night of going 0-4 at the plate. Gerber is now 0-16 in his last four outings for West Michigan, 7-42 in his last 10 games.

★★★

Upcoming Action

Midwest League Eastern Division Championship (Game 1): The Whitecaps will return home to Fifth Third Ballpark to face the Lansing Lugnuts for the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship, beginning Saturday at 4 p.m. The Division Championship will be a best-of-three contest.