Whitecaps lose in extras on Canada Night

These giant inflatables were part of the fun of Canada Night at Fifth Third Ballpark on Thursday.

The West Michigan Whitecaps lost in extra innings Thursday, but they were still winners of a sort as they drew over 7,600 fans to their ballpark for Canada Night.

Minor League Baseball teams host so many different theme nights, it would be near-impossible to write about them all. But I felt compelled to write about Canada Night, if for no other reason than to share the photo at the top of this post. Yes, the Whitecaps had an 18-foot-tall inflatable beaver, accompanied by an even-taller inflatable Mountie, in house as part of the fun.

Fans could play air hockey, and Canadian beers Molson and Labatt Blue were available for $2 apiece. And, of course, Whitecaps players wore special Canadian-themed jerseys featuring a maple leaf and the colors of Canada’s flag, red and white.

The Whitecaps came up with the idea for Canada Night because they have three Canadian players — shortstop Danny Pinero and outfielders Jacob Robson and Cole Bauml — on their roster. All three played in the game, but unfortunately collected only one hit between them. (Pinero went 1-for-4 while the other two went 0-for-5. All three walked once.)

The Great Lakes Loons beat the Whitecaps 6-5 in 12 innings. The Loons scored three times and the Whitecaps scored twice in the final inning, so it seems the game stayed exciting all the way to the end — even if the Molson and Labatt Blue weren’t being served anymore at that point.

Austin Sodders pitched the first seven innings of the game for the Whitecaps.

All photos courtesy of the West Michigan Whitecaps

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