Grand Rapids, Mich.—West Michigan’s Josh Lester belted a fly ball over a drawn-in outfield to bring in the winning run from third base with one out in the 12th inning as the Whitecaps defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Tuesday night. The Dragons and Whitecaps have played at least 11 innings in each of the first two games of the series with West Michigan earning a pair of walk-off wins.
West Michigan has won 10 straight games. They have not lost to any Midwest League opponent since they fell to the Dragons 8-2 on June 12. The Dragons have lost four straight games for the first time this season.
The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings before the Dragons briefly took the lead in the 10th. John Sansone doubled with one out and scored on Cassidy Brown’s single to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead. But West Michigan scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th when Danny Woodrow reached on a bunt single with one out and raced around to third on the same play on a two-base throwing error by Sansone, then scored on Anthony Pereira’s ground out to shortstop to tie the game at 2-2.
The Dragons had a chance to take the lead in the top of the 12th when Tyler Stephenson doubled with one out and went to third on Sansone’s ground out. Brown then hit a hard smash along the third base line. The third baseman, Danny Pinero, made an excellent diving backhanded stop and bounced his throw to first to nip Brown and prevent the run from scoring.
In the bottom of the 12th, West Michigan got three straight infield singles with one out before Lester hit a 3-2 pitch from Jesse Stallings over the head of right fielder Michael Beltre to end the game.
The Dragons had six hits. Jose Siri was 2 for 5 with a run scored.
Dragons starting pitcher Andrew Jordan was outstanding, working seven innings and allowing just one run on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts. The loss went to Stallings, who fell to 1-3.