By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, MA - On Tuesday evening, the Brewster Whitecaps erased a six-run deficit against the Y-D Red Sox to leave Red Wilson Field with a satisfying 7-7 tie.
"That's a win for us today," said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik.
Cesar Trejo’s (UNC-Greensboro) bases clearing double in the sixth inning tied the game at seven. Trejo’s rocket, which missed a home run by mere feet, was part of a five-run Whitecaps inning in which Brewster batted around and had seven baserunners reach.
"I was looking to get a good pitch to hit," Trejo said. "I was looking for a fastball and put a good swing on it."
Earlier in the inning, singles from Devin Foyle (Kansas) and Christian Molfetta (Stanford) put men on the corners for A.J. Graffanino (Washington), who would take a walk and load up the bases for first baseman Mickey Gasper (Bryant).
Gasper, who entered the game leading the team in runs-batted-in with four, would also walk, cutting Brewster’s deficit to four. Michael Curry (Georgia) would then reach after an errant throw by Red Sox third baseman Christian Koss (UC-Irvine) prevented what would have been a double play and allowed another run to cross the plate.
A Kyle Datres (North Carolina) walk would load the bases again, leading to the Trejo double and an explosion of applause and cheers from the Whitecaps’ dugout.
"I feel like this team has good chemistry going on," said Trejo. "Everybody is pulling for one another regardless of whether they’re playing or not."
The reason for the Brewster deficit was a deluge of Y-D runs over the game’s first three innings.
Nico Hoerner (Stanford), Carlos Cortes (South Carolina), and Luke Miller (Indiana) would all score in the first inning off Whitecaps starting pitcher Ryan Avidano (Georgia).
Avidano, who was making his second appearance for Brewster, only lasted 2.1 innings, giving up six runs, although only three were earned.
The Whitecaps’ defensive woes continued, however, as three errors in the third inning led to Y-D’s 6-1 lead.
Three runs came home in the bottom of the third after a couple of errors by Curry and Gasper, followed by a Red Sox RBI infield single.
"Defensively we just have to be better," said Shevchik. "We have to be better defensively."
The Red Sox kept constant pressure on the Whitecaps’ defense with an extremely aggressive approach on the base paths.
Y-D stole five bases as a team, four on Curry who got his first start behind the plate for Brewster and was 0-24 on attempted base stealers this season for Georgia.
What kept Brewster in the game and helped make the comeback possible was stellar work by the Whitecaps’ bullpen.
"Obviously Cesar had a big hit there," said Shevchik. "But for our bullpen to come in there and shut those guys down for six innings was huge for us."
Pauly Milto (Indiana) replaced Avidano, making his Cape League debut, and promptly escaped the bases loaded, one out jam unscathed.
"He's a guy that we're going to use out of the bullpen in a lot of big situations," said Shevchik of Milto. "He's going to be a good mix-up guy for us."
Brewster’s relief trio of Milto, Joe DeMers (Washington), and Zach Liginfleter (Tennessee) would only allow one run on four hits in six-and-two-thirds innings of work while striking out six.
"I know Milto gave up a run, but that's an out in every other ballpark in the country," Shevchik added.
Y-D’s final run of the game, which gave Brewster its six-run deficit, came in on a Carlos Cortes home run to straight-away center field.
Brewster’s first run of the game came in the third inning when the red-hot Gasper hit a bloop single over the first baseman to bring in Foyle, making the score 3-1.
The Whitecaps would then score their second run in the fifth inning on a Gasper double, scoring Graffanino from second base. The shortstop had also doubled in his at-bat to lead off the inning.
After leaving 28 runners on base over their last three games, hitting with runners on continues to plague this Brewster team.
"We can't afford to leave guys on the bases," said Shevchik. "Even against Cotuit the other day, we didn't hit our way into a big inning and that's something we have to create."
Other than Trejo, Gasper had a spectacular game at the plate going 2-4 with three runs batted in, while Graffanino also had a great day at the plate going 3-4 and raising his batting average on the season to a stellar .500.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps finally play their home opener on Wednesday against Falmouth at 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
COTUIT, MA - After losing a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Whitecaps offense was limited to just one run on seven hits in a close 2-1 loss at Lowell Park, completing Cotuit’s doubleheader sweep.
The highlight of the game for Brewster was a solo home run from Marty Costes (Maryland) in just his second at-bat with the team to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning.
“I knew that my last at bat I hit a ball pretty well,” said Costes. “I came up my second at-bat a little more free. Just had some fun.”
“Nick (Dunn) is a returning all-star and you already saw what Marty can do today,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik about his newly activated Maryland Terrapins teammates.
However, Cotuit would answer in the bottom of the 4th inning when catcher Thomas Dillard (Ole Miss) hit into a fielder’s choice that would score John Cresto (Santa Clara).
Cotuit was hungry for more in the 4th, putting men on the corners again. However, this time, a heads up play from Brewster starter Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) allowed the Whitecaps to escape.
Cotuit second baseman Luke Alexander tried to steal second, but Molettiere cut off the throw from Brewster catcher Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb). After Cotuit’s Mitchell Bigras (Boston College), who was on third, broke for home, Molettiere, got him in a rundown before he was eventually tagged out by Brewster third baseman Kyle Datres to end the inning.
The Kettleers would eventually take the lead the very next inning thanks to a base hit up the middle from Greyson Jenista (Wichita State). Jenista’s single delivered home second baseman Ako Thomas (Michigan) to give Cotuit the lead for good.
The pitching on both sides was excellent.
For Brewster, Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) went five innings and only allowed two earned runs while striking out five Kettleers.
“I think our pitching is going to be really good and we’re going to hit,” said Shevchik. “But if we’re not going to hit with guys on base or make routine plays it’s going to be a struggle all summer long.”
“We lost two games today literally because we made some mistakes defensively”
On the other hand, Cotuit featured southpaw Justin Hooper (UCLA), who had a brief stint for the Kettleers in 2016. Hooper, whose brother caught a touchdown for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, would certainly live up to his last name by allowing only one run in four innings.
In relief, Cotuit would close out the game with Zane Collins (Wright State), who, in a unique case of baseball trivia, earned his second win of the day, and Chase Shugart (Texas), who closed out the victory in the ninth inning.
“At school it takes these guys eight months to gel,” said Shevchik. “We have to do it in a hurry.”
The Whitecaps today also lost outfielders Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama) and Steele Walker (Oklahoma) indefinitely. Walker and Swaggerty have been invited to try out for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps take a day off on Monday but head to YD to face a Red Sox team that has won three consecutive league titles on Tuesday.. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
COTUIT, MA - After leaving the bases loaded twice and suffering two costly mistakes in the field, the Brewster Whitecaps left the first game of their doubleheader with the Cotuit Kettleers on the wrong side of the scoreboard as it was Cotuit that got the best of Brewster with a 4-3 victory in eight innings (of a seven inning game).
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Whitecaps pitcher Robert Broom (Mercer) was pitching well after only surrendering one run in two and two-thirds innings pitched in relief.
Then, with one out in the eighth inning, Whitecaps third baseman Connor Smith (Western Michigan) dropped a pop up off the bat of Greyson Jenista (Wichita State).
After the error from Smith, up to the plate came Florida native Griffin Conine (Duke) who hit a ball on the screws right to Whitecaps first baseman Pete Schuler (Kent State). Unfortunately for Brewster, Schuler dropped the ball and gave the Whitecaps their second error of the inning.
The miscues in the field cost the Whitecaps the game.
“We made a couple mistakes defensively that cost us,” Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik said. “But that’s not going to happen on a regular basis. I chalk it up as a fluke.”
After striking out John Cresto (Santa Clara) for the second out of the inning, Broom allowed a single up the middle to Kettleers Catcher Gian Martellini (Boston College) for the walk off win for the Kettleers.
Earlier in the game, the Whitecaps had two opportunities to end the game in seven innings but failed to do so.
After jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, Brewster threatened again the very next inning with the bases loaded and nobody out thanks to a bunt hit from the number nine hitter A.J. Graffanino (Washington).
After Graffanino reached, Nick Dunn (Maryland) was thrown out at the plate on a groundball to the second baseman.
Smith, who was named to the 2nd All Mid-Atlantic Conference team in his first two seasons at WMU, followed, but even his prior successes couldn’t translate to runs as Smith flew out to Kettleers left fielder Brett Kinneman (NC State) for the second out of the inning.
Just as Kinneman snatched the ball for the second out, Whitecaps left fielder Devin Foyle (Kansas) tagged up and headed towards home.
The rising junior from Fountain Hills, Arizona was cut down by a perfect Kinneman throw, completing a seven-to-two, inning-ending double play.
The Whitecaps would threaten again the very next inning with the identical situation--bases loaded and nobody out.
Once again, the Whitecaps failed to capitalize on their opportunity.
Chandler Taylor (Alabama), Dunn, and Foyle all hit shallow fly balls, failing to bring in the runner at third.
The team would leave eleven runners on base for the game.
Even with the tough loss, there were some bright spots for Brewster.
On the mound to start the game for the Whitecaps was rising junior William Tribucher (Michigan), who gave up only two earned runs in four innings while striking out six.
“I thought he was a little rusty,” Shevchik said. “But he threw well and he gave us a chance to win the baseball game.”
“We’re short on lefthanders,” added Shevchik. “We’re going to have to find at least one or two of those guys who are going to work their way into the bullpen eventually.”
Mickey Gasper (Bryant), who homered in Wednesday’s season opener, hit a home run in the top of the seventh to tie the game at three and force extra innings.
“It’s really loose in the dugout and Mickey is a very good hitter,” praised Shevchik. “Mickey is going to be one of the better hitters in this league for sure. He’s a natural leader."
Meanwhile, first baseman Pete Schuler went 2-4 with a pair of singles for the Whitecaps.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps play the second game of their doubleheader against the Kettleers at Lowell Park.
By: Aodhán Doyle
HYANNIS, MA – Standing just six-feet-tall and hailing from a Division II school, Whitecaps pitcher J.R. McDermott (Colorado Mesa) is certainly not the biggest guy in the Cape League.
But on the mound at McKeon Park in Hyannis on Thursday night, McDermott was a giant.
The right hander spun five innings of shutout ball to help lead the Whitecaps to their second win of the season in as many games, a 6-1 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks which was eerily similar to the previous night’s contest in Orleans.
McDermott only allowed three baserunners, all singles, while striking out four. The Whitecaps starter used a curveball/slider combination to a Harbor Hawks lineup full of powerful left-handed hitters while also locating his fastball in the lower part of the strike zone.
Leaving the game with a 1-0 lead, McDermott got some extra support from his offense to ensure his first Cape League victory.
After tacking on a run in the 6th, Brewster’s offense exploded for three runs in the 7th.
Back-to-back walks by Chandler Taylor (Alabama) and Darius Hill (West Virginia) set up opportunities for Chris Givin (Xavier) and Christian Molfetta (Stanford) who delivered consecutive RBI singles, extending Brewster’s lead to 4-0.
After McDermott, Ryan Avidano (Georgia) and Joe DeMers (Washington) combined for three scoreless innings in relief, striking out four.
McDermott, Avidano, and DeMers are all on temporary contracts with the Whitecaps.
“They’re giving us a lot of tough decisions,” Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik said about his temp pitchers.
Similar to the previous night, Brewster received five shutout innings from its starter, and then used three relievers to close out the game. Brewster also led 6-0 going into the 9th inning in both games, before giving up a run and earning 6-1 victories.
Brewster had an opportunity to get on the board in the 1st after a Michael Curry (Georgia) double to left almost brought home Mickey Gasper (Bryant), but Gasper was thrown out at the plate after an excellent relay by Hyannis.
Steele Walker (Oklahoma) made his debut for Brewster Thursday night and while he went 0-5 at the plate, he showed strong defense in center field and recorded his first RBI on a 7th inning groundout.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster plays its third consecutive road game on Friday night in Bourne against the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
By: Aodhán Doyle
ORLEANS, MA – Connor Higgins (Arizona State) had just one career start to his name in two years as a Sun Devil, but that didn’t stop Whitecaps’ manager Jamie Shevchik from calling on Higgins for the team’s opening day start on Wednesday night at Eldredge Park in Orleans.
The big left-hander delivered.
The Arizona State sophomore tossed five scoreless innings against the Orleans Firebirds, getting a two-run home run from Mickey Gasper (Bryant) in support, and Brewster went on to rout Orleans 6-1 in the season opener.
“It was a great team win,” Higgins said. “Everybody was energetic tonight and it was a great start to get this team rolling.”
Making his first start since May 13th against the University of Washington, Higgins struck out six and walked one over his five innings, recording his first career victory in the Cape League.
The Orefield, Pennsylvania native got even better as the game went on, retiring the last ten batters he faced in order. The most trouble Higgins ever faced was in the 1st inning, when an error gave the Firebirds runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs. Higgins escaped by forcing a Steve Passatempo (UMass-Lowell) groundout.
“Connor’s going to be really good,” said Shevchik. “He’s going to give some teams the fits.”
Gasper took a 1-0 fastball from Firebirds starter Kevin Smith (Georgia) and drove it over the fence in left-center field in the 5th inning. Gasper is expected to be one of Brewster’s primary catchers this season and finished the game 2-3 with two runs scored, two runs batted in, and a walk.
2nd-year Whitecap A.J. Graffanino (Washington) knocked in Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb) in his first at-bat of the season to give Brewster a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, and finished the game 2-4 with a stolen base.
Even after Higgins departed, the Whitecaps’ bullpen shut down the Firebirds’ offense over the final four innings. The pitching staff combined to give up just four hits while striking out ten.
Robert Broom (Mercer) was dominant, throwing two perfect innings with four strikeouts. Broom utilized both his fastball and slider, combined with a deceptive submarine throwing motion.
“There’s a kid that I’m going to make a prediction,” Shevchik declared. “He will pitch in the All-Star Game.”
Zach Linginfelter (Tennessee) threw a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two, while Andy Pagnozzi (Mississippi) closed out the game for Brewster, giving up one unearned run.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps travel to McKeon Park to take on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks tomorrow, Thursday June 15th. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Congratulations to 2016 Whitecaps selected in MLB Draft! (Through 10 rounds)
Logan Warmoth, SS, drafted 22nd by Blue Jays
Brent Rooker, OF, drafted 35th by Minnesota Twins
Zac Lowther, LHP, drafted 74 by Baltimore
Kade McClure, RHP, drafted in 6 round by White Sox
Tyler Zuber, RHP, drafted in 6 round by Kansas City
Landon Hughes, RHP, drafted in 7 round by Athletics
Jared Barnes, C, drafted in 8 round by Miami