The West Michigan Whitecaps looked to be running low on magic, but they were just setting up a dramatic comeback. Down 2-1 to the Dayton Dragons, the Whitecaps were down to their final out in the top of the ninth before they flipped the switch. Newly acquired prospect Daz Cameron kept them alive with a two out single. Cole Bauml then drew a walk. But it was Danny Pinero who played the hero, crushing a fastball off the wall in center field to plate both runs. The Whitecaps held on to take Game 1 of the first round of the Midwest League playoffs by a score of 3-2.
The Whitecaps’ pitching staff did their part as well. Starter Anthony Castro allowed just four hits, struck out four, and gave his team six solid innings. However, he allowed a two run shot in the fourth inning, which put the Dragons on top 2-0. Trent Szkutnik then came on and iced the Dragons for two innings, setting the Whitecaps up for the comeback. And once they had the lead, this was all over. John Schreiber slammed the door with authority, striking out two and inducing a pop-up in the bottom of the ninth.
How incredible was tonight's @wmwhitecaps comeback? With two outs in the top of the 9th, Dayton's win expectancy was a staggering 97.3%.— Dan Hasty (@ThatDanHasty) September 7, 2017
The best-of-three first round series now moves to West Michigan thanks to the Whitecaps’ Midwest League-leading record in the second half. They will have home field advantage throughout the postseason. Anthony Gutierrez (10-7, 3.06 ERA) will take on the Dragons’ Scott Moss (13-6, 3.45 ERA) on Thursday. Should the Dragons win, Game 3 will take place on Friday. Matt Manning is scheduled to get the start in that one.