By: Koki Riley
With three innings in the books, the Orleans Firebirds (2-1) had a 3-0 lead on the Brewster Whitecaps (0-2)……with just one hit.
“We shot ourselves in the foot today,” said Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik. “I think the games (on the Cape) are decided in the first four innings of a game.”
A David Avitia (Grand Canyon) strikeout turned passed ball saw the Firebirds catcher at first base to start the third inning for Orleans. Then throwing errors from Brewster starting pitcher Connor Shamblin (Alabama) on a dribbler back to the mound and catcher Justin Vought (Maryland) on another dropped third strike eventually resulted in two runs for the Firebirds.
A groundball double play hit by Raymond Gil (Miami FL) scored the third run and just like that it was 3-0 Firebirds.
That third inning was enough to cost Brewster the game. Over the next six frames, the Whitecaps outscored Orleans 3-2 and matched the Firebirds in hits with five apiece.
All three runs in the game for the Whitecaps came in the seventh. Down 4-0 with just one hit in the game, Brewster recorded three singles and a two RBI double from Tyler Gentry (Alabama) to reduce the deficit, at the time, to one run.
“We started getting some runs there at the end,” Gentry said. “I think we were battling a lot better. Our approaches were better. If we do that earlier in the game and keep doing it throughout the game we should be starting to get some wins.”
But maintaining that consistent approach throughout a game is something the Whitecaps only found in that seventh inning. Prior to and following the three-run frame, Brewster has one run in the 17-other innings this season. That includes 26 strikeouts in that time span.
The Whitecaps offensive struggles has left no margin for error for Brewster’s pitching and defense. So, when an inning like the third inning of this game occurs, the Whitecaps chances of victory are somewhere between slim and none.
Brewster heads to Hyannis on Thursday evening to face off against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks at 6 p.m.