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Whitecaps secure sixth championship
A Grand Rapids sports team has won its sixth championship.
The West Michigan Whitecaps won the organization’s sixth Midwest League Championship with a 3-2 victory Monday night in Cedar Rapids. West Michigan came back from a 2-1 series deficit to win the best-of-five playoff with two straight wins in Iowa.
“It’s a great feeling,” Whitecaps Manager Andrew Graham told MiLB.com. “These guys have been working hard all year. Since we got here, we believed in ourselves. We battled and I'm real proud of these guys.”
Graham won a title with the Whitecaps in 2004 as a player. It’s the organization’s first league championship since 2007. West Michigan has won all six championship series in which it has played in its history.
Pitcher Ross Seaton picked up the win by allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work.
The Whitecaps scored three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead.
West Michigan then rode the bullpen to the victory with relievers Gerson Moreno, Adam Ravanelle and Joe Jimenez holding Cedar Rapids hitless over the final three innings.
“It was real nerve-wracking being such a close game,” Graham told MiLB.com. “But we believed and our bullpen prevailed. Every arm that we brought in did their job.”
The season was a wild ride for the Whitecaps, as they finished the first half of the season with a losing record, before making the playoffs as a wild card entry in the second half. The team also came back from a 1-0 deficit in the best-of-three semifinals.