2015 Brewster Whitecaps
Congratulations to Nick Senzel, Brewster Whitecap and Tennessee infielder, on being named Perfect Game Summer Player of the Year !
Harding's Hero -
Game, Set, Season
The Brewster Whitecaps went for a fun ride in the 2015 season. They got a new coach, inspired a new culture of attacking and winning that should stay for years to come, and wrote memories at Stony Brook Field that won't soon be forgotten. Unfortunately that ride came to an early end on Tuesday night at Red Wilson Field vs the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
After a hard defeat the night before at home, Brewster traveled to YD looking to force a third game back in Brewster. Jordan Sheffield (Vanderbilt) took the hill for the Caps and looked ti shut down a strong YD offense. He found success in the first inning but ran into trouble in the 2nd. 2 runs came home with two outs to give YD a lead. He settled down in the 3rd but was knocked off his rhythm in the 4th. YD loaded the bases and plated 4 runs to put Brewster in a 6-0 hole. That hole felt bigger when Brewster's offense failed to get a hit off YD starter Ricky Thomas (Fresno State) for the first 3.2 innings and failed to get a run at all off Thomas.
The score held at 6-0 into the 8th inning, when the Whitecaps offense came out for one more attack. YD reliever Alec Eisenberg (Hofstra) got the first two outs, but Brewster fired back with 5 consecutive hits, highlighted by a Jack Meggs (Washington) double and RBI hits from Chandler Avant (Alabama), JC Escarra (Florida Intl.), and Nico Girratano (San Francisco) to score 3 runs. That was as close as Brewster got though. YD got a solo homer in the bottom of the 8th off the bat of Ryan Noda (Cincinnati) to go up 7-3. Dalton Lehnen (Cincinnati) came in and closed down the 9th inning and the Whitecaps season.
It was a disappointing ending to an otherwise tremendously successful season. The 2015 Whitecaps should be proud of how they competed with League MVP Nick Senzel (Tennessee) out for the game with a wrist injury. They played hard all season under the direction of Coach Jamie Shevchik and made the season entertaining for all involved. With Coach returning for next year, we can expect a winning culture to return to Stony Brook Field next summer when the Whitecaps get back to playing baseball.
Until then, it was so much fun writing about and covering this team and writing the stories. Thank you all for reading them all season and for supporting this team all season!
Playoff Pain in Stony Brook
The Brewster Whitecaps opened their playoff run today against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. In the regular season, these teams split the series with three wins for each team. The opening act of the playoffs was as close as the regular season, and the Whitecaps came away disappointed and down in the best of 3 series to the Sox.
Brewster's playoff run began rather well. Before the game, closer Thomas Hackimer (St. John's) won the Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award for the Cape League. Nick Senzel (Tennessee) also won two awards. He won the MVP award for the league and the Most Outstanding Prospect Award. The game also began well. Former Plymouth Pilgrim Brent Rooker (Mississippi State) put Brewster up in the 2nd inning 1-0. Whitecap starter Hunter Martin (Tennessee) pitched an excellent game. He pitched his way through jams and did not allow a run in his 6.2 innings of work.
Unfortunately, the Rooker homer was the only run Brewster mustered for most of the game as they repeatedly committed the cardinal sin of offense: leaving baserunners on. JC Escarra hit a ball home run distance that was just foul down the right field line in the 5th, and no runs came home to score. That was the most glaring example of the 6 runners Brewster left on base.
Despite that, the pitching was good enough to keep Brewster ahead 1-0 until the 8th inning, when YD's offense finally broke loose. 3 singles, a walk, and a Mike Donadio (St. John's) sacrifice fly put YD up 3-1. Brewster's offense tried to answer in the 8th, but stalled. Jack Meggs (Washington) singled with men on 2nd and 3rd. The man on 3rd, Escarra, scored. But Rooker made too wide a turn when he stopped at 3rd. When he went back to 3rd base, the ball was waiting for him and he was tagged out. Brewster did not throw another serious punch the rest of the game and fell to the YD Red Sox 3-2.
The final result of the game was a painful one. But despite that, the Whitecaps remained confident that they can win tomorrow. When asked about the chances for tomorrow's game, Coach Jamie Shevchik said "We can win." and nothing more than that. The rest of the team shared that confidence.
Jordan Sheffield (Vanderbilt) takes the hill for Brewster tomorrow at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth. They must win tomorrow to keep the series and the season alive.
Brewster Survives Mariner Comeback
Batters batters everywhere,
and not a pitch to waste.
Batters batters everywhere,
and not a win to taste.
This was the final rhyme of the 2015 Harwich Mariners as they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Brewster Whitecaps on Sunday night. And this feeling almost befell the Whitecaps. It would not have eliminated Brewster from the playoffs, or even would have hurt their seed. It would have hurt the momentum of the team and given them trouble right before the playoffs began. Fortunately for Brewster, they escaped with a needed victory.
Brewster's offense finally broke loose and scored early and often. With the first two men reaching base in the 1st inning, Nick Senzel (Tennessee) came to the plate. He sat out the prior two games to rest up for the playoffs. He returned to the lineup and blasted a 3 run homer over the left field fence. The offense continued its assault in the 2nd inning when Toby Handley (Stony Brook) tripled in Nico Girratano (San Francisco) and Mandy Alvarez (Eastern Kentucky) hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Handley. Kel Johnson (Georgia Tech) extended the Whitecap lead in the 3rd with a sacrifice fly to score JC Escarra (Florida International), and Brewster got all these runs while starter Jake Jenkins (Pacific) retired 9 of the first 11 Harwich batters he faced with some ease.
Brewster looked to have the game won early. But Harwich had more fight in them. They finally scored on a single by Preston Palmeiro (North Carolina St.) in the 4th inning. Brewster got runs back in the bottom of that inning when Toby Handley was hit in the head by a pitch for the second time in 2 games, but again stayed in the game and later came into score. This time he came home on a wild pitch.
Harwich got to Brewster's bullpen in the 6th, cutting the Whitecap lead from 7-1 to 7-4 very quickly. Brewster countered with their 8th and final run of the game in the bottom of the inning, when Chandler Avant (Alabama) doubled home Jack Meggs (Washington) to extend the lead to 8-4.
The final three innings were about Brewster holding on for dear life against the Mariner attack. Harwich got 2 runs back in the 7th, aided by an error and a less than perfect day from the Brewster bullpen. The Mariners inched closer in the 8th when a sacrifice fly by Ryan Lidge (Notre Dame) cut the lead to 8-7. With Harwich knocking on the door, Brewster needed to slam the door shut to end the game and Harwich's season. Ryan Peurifoy dove in center field to make a spectacular catch to end the 8th inning and keep the would-be tying runner off base. In the 9th inning, All-Star Thomas Hackimer (St. John's) came in and struck out the side, effectively slamming the door on Harwich's season and giving Brewster a big momentum boost before tomorrow's playoff game against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
After the game, the players and coaching staff were all excited for the game and were looking forward to the chance of winning the series. Coach Shevchik talked about how the team now needs to play for the town and complete the revival season for the Whitecaps with a good performance in the playoffs. He was happy with the players who just arrived from Plymouth and believes that if healthy and properly integrating the Pilgrim players, the Whitecaps are a better team than they were before. The players shared coach's confidence and intensity. Catcher Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount) discussed the momentum gained from knocking a good team out of the playoffs and surviving a good test. He added comments on the team's need for concentration on tomorrow's opponent and the Whitecap's confidence on playoff's eve. And newcomer Mandy Alvarez praised his new teammates for welcoming him and the other Pilgrims, integrating them effortlessly into the fabric of the team. Every Whitecap is on the same page; we have the home field, momentum, and Hunter Martin (Tennessee) going. Bring on YD tomorrow!
Win? No. Determine Playoff Position? Yes.
With a chance at the 2nd seed in the playoffs at stake on Saturday night, the Whitecaps traveled to Whitehouse Field to take on the Harwich Mariners. With a win, the Whitecaps would seal the 2nd seed and eliminate the Mariners from the playoff chase. Similar to the last game, the Whitecaps did not get off to a good start and did not get enough offense to come back to get the win.
JD Busfield (Loyola Marymount) pitched poorly. He ended up pitching only 2 innings, gave up 6 hits and 4 runs. It didn't help matters that the Whitecaps roster underwent a serious overhaul before the game, messing with the chemistry of the team. After Robbie Tenerowicz (Cal Berkeley) was released on account of a wrist injury, the Whitecaps had a number of roster spots that needed to be filled. Fortunately for them, the Plymouth Pilgrims of the New England Collegiate Baseball League were eliminated from their league's playoffs. The Caps picked up 5 Pilgrim players and activated them for today's game. Some of them were key in the Whitecap effort to come back.
In the fourth inning, newcomer Mandy Alvarez (Eastern Kentucky) led off with a single. He advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by JC Escarra (Florida International). Escarra then came around to score on a triple by another former Pilgrim Brent Rooker (Mississippi State). That hit cut the lead to 4-2, but that was the closest the Caps came to tying the game.
Harwich extended the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the 5th on a solo homer by Connor Justus (Georgia Tech). Brewster again cut the lead back to 2 in the 6th when Brent Rooker scored on a single by Kel Johnson (Georgia Tech). Brewster stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd and did not mount another attack the rest of the game. Harwich tacked on 2 more runs and Brewster fell to the Mariners 7-3.
Despite the loss, Brewster's playoff spot has been determined. Coming into tonight the Whitecaps could clinch the 2nd seed in the playoffs if they won or if both YD and Chatham lost their games. YD lost to Cotuit 11-0 and Chatham lost to Orleans 4-2, so Brewster will be the 2nd seed in the Playoffs behind Orleans! They still have to wait for their opponent in their Monday playoff game to be determined.
The Caps have one more regular season game. Sunday afternoon at 4:30, the Whitecaps will host the Harwich Mariners in the back end of a home-and-home. Jake Jenkins (Pacific) will get the start. But before the game, Brewster will honor the host families who made this season possible and give awards to the players who led the team to such a successful season! Pre-Game ceremonies begin at 4 PM.
Comeback Falls Short vs YD
With the Whitecaps in the playoffs, positioning still has to be determined. They played the first of three important games to end the season against Eastern division foes. They traveled to Red Wilson Field to take on the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox on Friday night. They fell behind after a bad inning and did not have enough ammo to come back.
Andrew Gist (Georgia) started his first game for the Whitecaps. He pitched well for most of his outing but had trouble with Gio Brusa (Pacific) and then the entire YD lineup in the 6th. Brusa scored the first run of the game on a solo home run in the fourth. Brewster tied the game in the top of the 6th on a single by Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount). Toby Handley (Stony Brook) scored on the single after he was hit in the head by a pitch. He stayed in and toughed out the rest of the game. The bottom of the 6th went badly for Brewster. YD scored 4 runs and knocked Gist out of the game.
Brewster's offense had some answers left in the game. Ryan Peurifoy (Georgia Tech) walked in the 7th then scored on a single by Nico Girratano. Then with one out in the 8th, JC Escarra (Florida Intl.) hit his first home run of the summer. That was the last major threat mounted by the Whitecaps. Jack Meggs (Washington) got a single in the 8th but did not advance beyond 1st base and the Caps were retired in order in the 9th by closer Chad Hockin (Cal St. Fullerton)
With the loss, Brewster's playoff fate becomes much more murky. They secured a playoff spot, but they do not yet know their seed. Orleans has sealed the top seed in the playoffs, and every other team in the Eastern division is fighting for the best possible spot in the playoffs. Brewster can be as high as 2 and can fall all the way to 4th if they lose their last 2 games and either Chatham or YD wins both of their games.
The Whitecaps have a home and home match-up with the Harwich Mariners starting with a JD Busfield (Loyola Marymount) start at Whitehouse Field in Harwich Saturday night. This series will help determine the playoff seeds in the East.
Whitecaps Beat by Falmouth and Father Time
A day after making the playoffs, the Brewster Whitecaps hosted the Falmouth Commodores, the last place team in the entire league. The expectation was that Brewster would walk away victorious. The opening of the game went in Brewster's favor! Starting pitcher Alex Schick (Cal Berkeley) allowed only 1 hit in the first 2 innings and looked ready to pitch a great game. The offense got off to a good start as well. Jack Meggs (Washington) led off the 2nd inning with a single. Ryan Peurifoy (Georgia Tech) followed with a 2 run blast to left field.
The 3rd inning spelled disaster for the Whitecaps. It was their worst inning on the season and doomed them for tonight's game. In total, Falmouth posted 7 runs on 6 hits while Brewster committed 2 errors to hurt their cause. Alex Schick pitched only one more inning and allowed one more run in his last inning. Brewster reliever Hansen Butler (UNC) did not have too much more success. He only pitched an inning and a third, walked 5, and gave up 2 runs. The Brewster offense was also stymied by Commodore pitcher Conor Costello (Oklahoma State). He pitched until the 7th inning when the Whitecaps came alive.
Falmouth reliever Bo Tucker (Georgia) gave up 4 consecutive walks in the 7th, and allowed Brewster to get back into the game. The Caps loaded the bases and ended the 7th with 5 runs in the inning. Brewster trailed only 11-7 after the 7th and had momentum on their side. However, the sun had literally set on Brewster's comeback. The game was called after the 7th due to darkness, awarding the victory to Falmouth.
Jack Meggs and Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount) agreed that given more sunlight, the Caps would have come back to win. But they also agreed that there was a partial emotional let up after the emotion of the last two games against Orleans. They will need to get ready for the next game very quickly. They travel to Red Wilson Field to take on the YD Red Sox at 5 PM tomorrow.
Playoffs?! What a Present!
Usually it's the birthday boy who gets the present. Today, Tyson Miller (Cal Baptist) gave the Brewster Whitecaps and their fans 2 big gifts on his 20th. First, he put on a masterful show against the Orleans Firebirds. He pitched 8 innings, struck out 11, walked no one, and only surrendered an unearned run. The 4-1 victory opened the door for the 2nd gift: A 2nd consecutive playoff berth.
While Miller ended up being the story of the game, the first inning told a different tale. Orleans left fielder Austin Miller (Loyola Marymount) got a one out single and advanced to 3rd base on an error. He then scored in an unusual way, he stole home plate. Orleans starter Eric Lauer (Kent State) then pitched a scoreless 1st inning.
The story of the game changed in the 2nd inning. Miller struck out the side, and Brewster took a 2-1 lead. Brewster loaded the bases and scored when Chandler Avant (Alabama) singled in Robbie Tenerowicz (Cal Berkeley), and then again when Colin Lyman's (Louisville) fielder's choice brought in Kel Johnson (Georgia Tech). Brewster added another run in the 3rd. Nick Senzel (Tennessee) led off with a double and was singled in by fellow All Star Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount).
After that inning, both offenses were largely dormant. Tyson Miller settled in and controlled one of the best offenses in the league. From the 4th inning until the end of his outing in the 8th, Orleans only had one baserunner. Brewster's offense was cooled by reliever Chandler Blanchard (Pepperdine). After Blanchard left, Brewster tacked on an insurance run. In the 8th inning, Robbie Tenerowicz led off with a single. One batter later, Jack Meggs (Washington), hitting in Kel Johnson's spot, singled home Tenerowicz to put Brewster up 4-1.
After Miller's remarkable outing, closer Thomas Hackimer (St. John's) came on looking to close out the game. Orleans did get some baserunners, including a 1st and 3rd jam. However Hackimer struck out Alex Call (Ball State) and forced Bobby Dalbec (Arizona) into a game ending double play. With the win, Brewster is assured of a spot in the 2015 Cape League playoffs. There are still 4 games left in the regular season that will determine seeding for the playoffs. Tyson Miller and Jack Meggs both expect the team to play all the remaining games with the same intensity that got them to the playoffs.
The Whitecaps will host the Falmouth Commodores for their last regular season game against a Western Division foe. The game starts at 5 PM with Alex Schick getting the start for Brewster.
Dramatic Comeback Ends in Tie
“There’s no (tying)! There’s no (tying) in baseball!” Or that’s what Tom Hanks’s character, Jimmy Dugan, probably would have said if he went to the game between Brewster and Orleans. The game concluded in a 6-6 tie after 12 innings due to league rules.
This was a highly anticipated game, as fans expected to see a great pitching duel between two of the Cape’s best pitchers, Jordan Sheffield (Vanderbilt) for Brewster and Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) for Orleans. Firebirds fans were not disappointed as Jordan went 5 innings, giving up only 1 unearned run, and striking out 5.
For Whitecaps fans, it was another story. Sheffield gave up 5 runs, all earned, in just 3 innings pitched. Then in the 4th inning, after the Whitecaps were able to scratch across 1 run, the Firebirds claimed it right back for a 6-1 lead. For most of the game, it seemed the league’s best team would get the better of the Whitecaps.
The 8th inning was a turning point for the Brewster offense. Orleans brought in their third pitcher of the game, Sean Watkins (Loyola Marymount), and the Whitecaps offense took off. Colin Lyman (Louisville) led the inning off with a walk, followed by 2 singles from Toby Handley (Stony Brook) and Nick Senzel (Tennessee). The Senzel single would bring Lyman around to score, making the score 6-2. JC Escarra (Florida International) continued the inning with a triple to center field scoring Handley and Senzel. He too would eventually score on a Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount) ground ball to make the score 6-5. Orleans would change pitchers again, this time calling in Kit Scheetz (Virginia Tech) to close the door and he did.
Heading into the 9th, the Whitecaps still needed one more run to tie the game. Lyman would get the inning going with a 1 out single, putting the tying run on base. After a Handley fly out, Senzel would step up to the plate in a big-time situation. As Senzel had done in the past, he delivered again with an infield single, moving the tying run to second. Up next was Escarra to take his turn with two outs. He too would come up big for Brewster with a single that would score Lyman and tie the game 6-6. This would ultimately be the last offense of the game as the teams tied after 12 innings with the same score.
The Firebirds were held scoreless after the 4th inning due to sensational pitching and defense by the Whitecaps. Hunter Martin (Tennessee) would come on in relief for Sheffield to start the 4th inning. Martin went 4 innings and gave up only 1 run and had a season best 6 strikeouts. Following him would be Zachary Ryan (Georgia Tech) going .2 of an inning with 1 strikeout and Anthony Arias (Fresno State) pitching 1.1 innings with 1 strikeout. Trent Paddon (Oregon) was the next pitcher for the Whitecaps going 2 innings and recording 2 strikeouts.
During Paddon’s second inning of relief, Sean Murphy (Wright State) connected on a ball and appeared to hit a walk-off homerun for the Firebirds. Colin Lyman, however, was not ready to stop playing. Lyman leapt over the leftfield wall and brought the would-be game winner back, robbing him of a home run. Paddon would get out of the inning with a ground out to the second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz (California Berkeley).
In the 12th inning, Whitecaps closer Thomas Hackimer (St. John’s) would conclude the game with 2 strikeouts and a 1-3 putout.
With the tie against Orleans, the Whitecaps clinch the season series over Orleans with one matchup remaining. Whitecaps return to Stony Brook Field on Wednesday, in a rematch with the Orleans Firebirds at 5 PM.
The Whitecaps can clinch a playoff birth tonight with a win or a Harwich loss. By owning the tiebreaker versus Orleans, Brewster still has a mathematical shot at winning the Eastern Division. The Whitecaps would need to win every game the rest of the way and Orleans must not gain a single point.
In transaction news, the Whitecaps signed and activated catcher Kyle Cunningham (St. John’s) on July 26 and pitcher Gabriel Mosser (Shippensburg University) on July 28.
Whitecaps Scratch Out a Win in Falmouth
Brewster traveled to Falmouth for the final regular season road game against a Western Division opponent. Even though Falmouth came in with the worst record in the Cape League, Brewster needed more than 9 innings to win.
The game started well. Brewster got a run in the top of the 1st on an RBI Fielder's Choice hit by Jack Meggs (Washington) to score Toby Handley (Stony Brook). Brewster added another run in the 2nd when Chandler Avant (Alabama) scored on Nico Girratano's (San Francisco) sacrifice fly.
The score stayed at 2-0 for a while because Whitecaps starter JD Busfield (Loyoa Marymount) pitched a very good game. He pitched 6 effective innings, and tied his season high with 5 strikeouts. He kept Falmouth off balance for much of his outing but he did not keep Falmouth off the scoreboard. Whitecap killer JJ Matijevic (Arizona) led off the 4th inning with a single and came home to score on a single by Tate Blackman (Mississippii). Falmouth tied the game in the bottom of the 5th when Caleb Hamilton (Oregon State) scored on Matijevic's sacrifice fly.
The game then became a staring contest between each other's bullpen with each trying desperately not to blink. Brewster seemed to land the finishing blow in the 7th inning when Toby Handley drove in Brandon Gold (Georgia Tech) to put Brewster up 3-2. Falmouth had an answer for them in the bottom of the 9th. With 2 out, no one on, and all-star pitcher Nick Highbergur (Creighton) on the hill, pinch hitter Shane Benes (Missouri) blasted a home run to left field to tie the game and forced extra innings.
In the 10th inning, Brewster answered Falmouth's homer with a small ball run. Colin Lyman led off with a single, and after being advanced to 2nd base and the 2nd out of the inning, Jack Meggs fought Falmouth's submarine pitcher Stephen Villines (Kansas) and drew a bloop single to center field to score Lyman and put Brewster up 4-3. Trent Paddon came on in the bottom of the inning. He forced Matejivic into a double play and collected the final out of the game on a groundout by Evan Skoug (Texas Christian).
With the 4-3 victory, Brewster's magic number for clinching a playoff spot is now down to 2. They have a day off on Monday then a home and home set against the league leading Orleans Firebirds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Brewster Clings to a Victory
On Friday night, the Wareham Gatemen came to visit Brewster for the first time since their defeat on opening day. Since then, both teams have changed and developed. The results of the two games were the same; Brewster won in a close game, 5-4. Both games came down to the end of the games, and both featured a Wareham comeback.
Friday night's game started off very well and rather easily for Brewster. Brewster scored in each of the first 4 innings, including 2 RBI from Nick Senzel (Tennessee). Starting pitcjer Jake Jenkins (Pacific) also performed well. He breezed through the first 5 innings and looked in control on the hill. In the bottom of the 4th, Brewster ran into trouble. Senzel fouled a ball off his own shin and had to leave tonight's game. He was moving well after the game and will play in the All-star game, but he was in pain when he was hit by the ball. Brewster did not get another run the rest of the way.
Jenkins continued pitching well until the 6th. In that inning, Wareham led off with 2 straight singles then scored 2 runs on a soft base hit by Gavin Stupienski (North Carolina Wilmington). 2 innings later, an error by Robbie Tenerowicz (Cal Berkeley) allowed Wareham to extend the inning and add 2 more runs and cut the deficit to 5-4. Wareham got it no closer than that. They put 2 runners on in the top of the 9th, but each runner was caught trying to steal by All-Star catcher Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount). Closer Thomas Hackimer (St. John's got the final out, and Brewster won the game.
With the victory and Chatham being defeated, Brewster jumped to 2nd in the standings, giving the team better positioning in the playoffs. Tomorrow is the All-Star Game in Wareham. 5 Whitecaps will be at the game: Nick Senzel (Tennessee, Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount), Colin Lymann, (Louisville), Nick Highbergur (Creighton), and Thomas Hackimer (St. Johns). Brewster begins the last week of the regular season with a trip to Falmouth at 5:30 on Sunday.
See Past Game Archive page for previous games