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West Michigan Whitecaps reach MWL Final!

It’s been a year to forget for many of the Detroit Tigers and their organization top to bottom. However, the West Michigan Whitecaps are making the best of the opportunities, as their season continues on.

Following Monday night’s 14-5 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts in the Eastern Division Championship series, the ‘Caps are heading to the Midwest League (Class-A) Championship!

The Whitecaps swept both games from the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the opening round of the MWL playoffs to advance. After losing the opening game of a three-game set, West Michigan won the final two games by a final score of 22-8 en route to an Eastern Division crown.

They will now face the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Kernels have yet to lose a game in the playoffs, after sweeping both the Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) and the Peoria Chiefs (STL) in the previous two rounds. According to MWL playoff procedures, the Eastern Division champ hosts games one and two in odd-numbered years, and the Western Division champ hosts games three, four, and five.

The ‘Caps pounded out 22 hits in the clinching game vs. the Lugnuts. Joey Pankake went 5-for-12 with a homer, five runs batted in and three runs scored in the three games vs. Lansing. The best hitter in the postseason thus far for West Michigan has to be Ross Kivett, who is 9-for-21 in the five games the team has played.

On the pitching forefront, the bullpen for the Whitecaps has been absolutely dynamite. In 17 1/3 innings pitched in the playoff games, the ‘pen has allowed just two earned runs. The starting pitching has been pretty solid as well, three of the five outings have been at least 6.0 innings of work while yielding two earned runs or less.

With the Tigers painfully finishing out the final 20 games, we can shift our focus to the success of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

And as a side note, is there anything more appealing and hilarious than minor league baseball nicknames? Whitecaps, TinCaps, Lugnuts, Kernels, River Bandits

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