On Friday night, the Detroit Tigers Single-A affiliate West Michigan Whitecaps had a historical night. Their historically long game ended after 15 innings as a tie.
The Detroit Tigers young prospects showcased their skills against the Peoria Chiefs, the St. Louis Cardinals Single-A team, by scoring nine runs in ten innings. The two teams had 48 hits, which set a new record for total hits in a Midwest League game. The Whitecaps also set a record playing for six hours and two minutes.
The epic game was called a tie because it exceeded a time limit and the two teams would not meet again to complete the game. The final score of 9-9 was reached in the 10th inning and remained until the final out was earned. According to the announcement made at the game, the team could complete their final inning, but not begin another one after 1:00 am. The game was completed around 1:20 am when the final Whitecaps batter was called out.
According to the MiLB website, the game had to be called because young teams have 1:00 am curfews. Prior to the start of the 15th inning, the umpires and managers discussed whether or not to start the inning after the 14th innings ended around 12:50 am. This delay was confusing for fans to understand until the announcement was made that a 15th inning would be played and it would be the last one of the game. Employees at the park and fans alike were rather confused by the announcement and what to do if the game was called a tie.
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The starting pitcher for the Whitecaps was Beau Burrows. It is easy to see why he is considered one of the Tigers top prospects. He reached pitch speeds of 95 and 97 mph several times mixing those speeds with pitches in the low 80s. Despite the pitch speeds, he did allow 10 hits and 3 earned runs in 4.2 innings. He walked one batter and struck out one. Of his 76 pitches, 52 were strikes. He faced 24 batters. There were moments that his youth showed, but there is potential in this young man.
The highlights of the game came in the form of hitting. The top of the lineup had several hits that helped the ‘Caps score nine runs. Outfielding sensation Derek Hill was the lead-off batter. In his nine at-bats, he reached four times, with two doubles. His speed around the bases was shocking – no blinking when he’s on base.
The pair of Wills, Will Maddox and Will Allen also had a great day. Maddox plays first base and bats third. He went five for eight with two runs and two RBIs. It is easy to see why Maddox has a .355 batting average. Will Allen, the DH and clean-up hitter, went two for five before he was replaced by Cam Gibson as a pinch runner in the 10th inning. Allen also had two RBIs. In the number two hole, Rashad Brown went three for seven with three runs and an RBI.
These young players worked hard last night, playing in the intense heat and well into the night. As a fan who stuck around until the end of the game, it was exciting to be a part of Minor League baseball history.