COMSTOCK PARK, MI – Jace Jung went 3-for-5 with a double and a pair of home runs to lead the West Michigan Whitecaps to an 8-6 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night at LMCU Ballpark. Wisconsin rallied from an early 5-1 deficit with five runs in the top
COMSTOCK PARK, MI – Jace Jung went 3-for-5 with a double and a pair of home runs to lead the West Michigan Whitecaps to an 8-6 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night at LMCU Ballpark. Wisconsin rallied from an early 5-1 deficit with five runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead. However, Jung’s second homer gave West Michigan a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fourth, a lead they would never surrender.
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The Whitecaps (29-26) jumped on Wisconsin starting pitcher Stiven Cruz with four straight hits to start the bottom of the first inning. Danny Serretti and Jace Jung had back-to-back doubles for a 1-0 lead. Justice Bigbie singled to put runners on the corners. Chris Meyers concluded the onslaught with a three-run home run to right-center for the 4-0 advantage.
Wisconsin (21-33) scored in the top of the second inning against Tarik Skubal, a Detroit Tigers pitcher on a rehabilitation assignment. Ernesto Martinez Jr had an RBI single.
Jung struck again in the bottom of the second with a two-out, solo home run to put West Michigan back up by four runs.
Skubal left after three innings. He allowed an unearned run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
The Timber Rattlers took advantage of Skubal’s exit as they scored five runs on five hits in the top of the fourth inning to take the lead.
Eduardo García drew a walk and Eduarqui Fernández singled to start the inning and put runners on the corners. The duo pulled a double steal with Fernández drawing the throw with his steal of second and García scoring easily without a throw.
Then, the Rattlers strung together four straight singles with one out with Jose Acosta and Matt Wood’s singles scoring runs to pull the Rattlers to tie the game 5-5.
Joe Gray Jr gave Wisconsin a 6-5 lead with a sacrifice fly.
The lead lasted three pitches into the bottom of the fourth. Serretti hit a home run to right on a 2-0 pitch from starter Stiven Cruz. Jung was next, and he cracked another 2-0 pitch for a home run that put the Whitecaps up 7-6.
Cruz got the first out of the inning before turning the game over to reliever Taylor Floyd.
Floyd kept the Rattlers in the game as he pitched 3-2/3 perfect innings of relief with six strikeouts to keep the Rattlers within a run.
Wisconsin’s best chance to get the game back to even happened in the sixth inning. Terence Doston, who had two hits and was on base three times as the number nine hitter in the order, started the sixth with a bunt single. Then, Robert Moore drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to put two runners on base against Gabe Sequeira. However, Sequeira got out of the inning with a strikeout and a 1-4-3 double play.
West Michigan added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Izaac Pacheco doubled to start the inning. Dillon Paulsen drove in Pacheco with a single for the 8-6 lead. Jordan Marks, West Michigan’s sixth pitcher of the night, worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth for a save.
Wisconsin had ten hits in the game. All the hits were singles. The Whitecaps had twelve hits in the game. They had five singles, four homers, and three doubles.
Fernández went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base to lead Wisconsin’s offense.
The loss ended the Rattlers winning streak at three games. Wisconsin has had four three-game winning streaks this season, but they have not been able to get to a four-game winning streak yet.
Game five of the series is Saturday night at LMCU Ballpark. Tyler Woessner (5-1, 2.50) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. West Michigan has named Carlos Pena (0-4, 4.01) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. The broadcast is on AM1280 WNAM starting with the Community Blood Center at 5:45pm. Fans can listen on the radio, on the First Pitch app, or at this link. The internet video feed is available to subscribers of Bally Live, too.