Only 1,361 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark saw Tom de Blok, who was recently added to the roster of the West Michigan WhiteCaps, make his debut for the A full season farm team of the Detroit Tigers in a 5-4 loss vs the Clinton LumberKings. And what a debut it was.
After starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks and Zack Houston gave up two on one hit and three walks in 1.1 innings, it was Tom de Blok’s turn.
Tom entered the game in the fifth inning and cruised through three innings that he was out on the mound. In the fifth Tom retired the first hitter with a line out to right field. The second hitter was retired on a fly out to center field and the third hitter grounded out 6-3.
In the sixth frame, Tom retired the side on a fly out to center field, a strikeout and a fly out to right field.
Only in the seventh inning, Tom gave up the first base hit, when Gareth Morgan hit a fly ball to right field. But that was the only hit Tom would allow as he retired the next hitter on a fly out to center field. The next hitter, Rayder Ascanio, grounded into a force out that retired Morgan at second base. Luis Liberato flied out to left field for the final out of the inning and of Tom’s outing.
When Tom entered the game in the top of the fifth inning, the WhiteCaps were trailing the Lumberkings 5-0. With his outing, Tom kept his team in the game as they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth. In the eighth, the team rallied again. With two outs, a triple, a single and a double drove in two more runs. But the rally fell short as Dan Woodrow was called out on strikes and the team did not come close to score runs in the ninth.