West Michigan pitchers Matt Manning and Clate Schmidt combined on a four-hit shutout as the Whitecaps defeated the Dayton Dragons 8-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Whitecaps completed a sweep of the three-game series with the Dragons in the final game of the first half.
The Dragons finished the half with a record of 31-37. They finished in sixth place in the Midwest League East Division. West Michigan finished at 36-34.
West Michigan built a 6-0 lead with three runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth to take command. They added to runs in the seventh to close out the scoring.
The Dragons had some opportunities to score early in the game. They put the lead-off man on base in the second, third, and fourth innings, but finished the day without advancing a runner past second base.
Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton (3-7) suffered the loss. He worked 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
New Dragons reliever Miguel Aguilar was the bright spot. He worked 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit, walk or run in his first game with the club.
The Dragons open the second half of the Midwest League’s split-season format on Thursday when they host the South Bend Cubs at 7 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.
Records for all MWL teams will revert to 0-0 to start the second half. The top two second-half finishers in each division will qualify for postseason play. Lansing and Bowling Green, the top two finishers in the first half in the East Division, are ineligible for second-half playoff spots.