'Caps Claim Back to Back MWL Titles

It was a day of celebrating on Saturday, as West Michigan jumped out to an early lead on Beloit and never looked back, cruising to an 11-5 victory, and clinching their second straight Midwest League crown.

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – END OF SEASON
Durham Wins Series 3-0
The Mud Hens lost in the opening round of the Governor's Cup playoffs, bringing their season to a close.
- Jon Gunnells, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves – END OF SEASON
Akron Wins Series 3-1
The Erie SeaWolves lost the series with the Akron Aeros and the season is now over.
- David Oleksy, Erie Correspondent

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – END OF SEASON
24-46, 6th in West division
Lakeland wrapped up the season in last place, not qualifying for the Florida State League playoffs.
- Kyle Yerkes, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps – W. MICH. 11, BELOIT 5
Whitecaps win Series 3-2, Best of Five Series

The West Michigan Whitecaps are Midwest League Champions for the second consecutive year, the first team in 23 years to accomplish such a feat. The 'Caps defeated Beloit Saturday 11-5 in the fifth and deciding game of the Midwest League Championship series, taking advantage of six Snappers errors and an eight run fifth. West Michigan got the scoring started early with two runs in the first on RBI singles from Brennan Boesch and Jordan Newton. They added another run in the second when Michael Bertram led off with a triple and Gorkys Hernandez brought him home with a sacrifice fly. Beloit stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the third, putting their first five batters on with two triples, a single, a walk and a hit batsman. Gregory Yersich's bases-loaded triple put the Snappers ahead and chased Whitecaps' starter Charles Furbush from the game. Luis Marte came in and struck out the side but also gave up a single that scored Yersich to put Beloit ahead 5-3. That didn't last long, however, as the West Michigan bats exploded and the Beloit gloves imploded in the fifth. Audy Ciriaco reached on an error by third baseman Deibinson Romero to start the inning, then stole second and advanced to third on another error. James Skelton then walked, followed by an RBI single from Scott Sizemore. Beloit pitcher Jose Lugo replaced Dan Leatherman and walked Boesch to load the bases before collecting two outs with no runs scored. With the bases still loaded, Ryan Strieby tied the game on a two run single and advanced to second on another Beloit error. Bertram put the 'Caps ahead with a two run single of his own. Hernandez singled to put runners at the corners and end Lugo's night as he was replaced with Danny Vais. A new pitcher didn't stop the singles train, as Ciriaco hit another one for another run and advanced to second on another Beloit error. Skelton capped the offense with the Whitecaps' sixth straight single, bringing in the final two runs and advancing to third on yet another Beloit error before Sizemore grounded out to finally end the inning. The final tally: 12 Whitecaps' batters, eight runs and five Beloit errors in one half-inning. The six-run lead would be more than enough for the West Michigan bullpen, as Marte went on to throw five innings of two-hit ball with nine strike outs and no walks for the win. Casey Fien pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits and one walk with three strike outs. West Michigan will begin the 2008 season on April 3 at South Bend as they start their quest for a three-peat.
- Mike Itchue, West Michigan Correspondent

SS-A Oneonta Tigers – END OF SEASON
Auburn Wins Series 2-1

The O-Tigers fell in the first round to Auburn of the New York-Penn League playoffs, which resulted in their season coming to an end.
- Cash Kruth, Staff Writer

R GCL Tigers – END OF SEASON
28-32, t-4th in North division

The GCL Tigers ended the season in fourth place, falling outside of the Gulf Coast League playoffs.

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