By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – On Sunday night, the Brewster Whitecaps (8-7-1) limited the amount of times they struck out (only five times), consistently put the ball in play and were able to put runners in scoring position throughout the night.
The problem was, the Whitecaps couldn’t turn those opportunities into runs.
In the first three innings alone, the Whitecaps stranded at least one runner in scoring position in each frame. That included a second inning where Brewster had runners on second and third with one out and a third inning where a leadoff triple from Ryan Bliss (Auburn) turned into zero runs.
The Whitecaps were missing that one break through hit. A clear sign in Brewster’s two run effort in the 5-2 loss against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (9-5-1)
“We didn’t have the timely hitting. We had guys on base, opportunities to score a run but we just couldn’t come up with a big hit,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “That’s baseball. Sometimes the bounces are going to go your way and sometimes they’re not.”
And despite trailing for the vast majority of the game, the Whitecaps were dangerously close to the Red Sox up until the eighth inning when Yarmouth-Dennis scored three runs on two walks, two singles and an error to make it 5-1 in their favor.
Brewster scored a consolation run in the ninth inning after back to back doubles from Luke Berryhill (South Carolina) and Christian Molfetta (Stanford), but it was far too little, far too late.
“We’re a good team (and) we’re really talented,” Whitecaps outfielder Tyler Gentry (Alabama) said. “It’s just hard when you’re facing really good pitching every day.”
In a league where pitching is priority, it’s true that runs are at a premium on the Cape. But when/if those opportunities arise throughout the course of a game, taking advantage of the situation is a must.
“We just didn’t have enough in us,” Shevchik said.
The Whitecaps have tomorrow off, but head to Falmouth on Tuesday. First pitch is slated to be at 6 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, M.A. – Hitless in his last 12 plate appearances, Marcos Castanon (UC Santa Barbara) was in the midst of a major funk. Enough of one for Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (8-5-1) head coach Scott Pickler to feel confident in intentionally walking Gage Workman (Arizona State) to load the bases with two outs to pitch to Castanon instead.
“I probably would have done the same thing based on what Marcos did in the first half of the game,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
“I was 100% insulted, so I just went in there and didn’t try to do too much,” Castanon said.
In the previous half inning, the Red Sox had just gained the momentum with a pair of runs of their own to cut the deficit to one. With a 3-2 score in the seventh inning, the Whitecaps were running out of chances to swing the game back in their favor.
So, on a 1-1 count, Castanon took that swing and capitalized on that chance by roping a double down the left field line to plate all three Brewster base runners. With the 6-2 score, Castanon’s double was the knock-out punch that delivered the Whitecaps (8-6-1) their second straight road victory by a final score of 7-4.
“I’ll take a streaky team,” Shevchik said. “As long as we’re mixing in the W’s and we’re not losing six and winning three then it’s a good summer.”
Following the loss to Wareham, Whitecaps hitting coach Ryan Smyth was not worried about the Brewster bats. Pointing at the recent layoff as a reason to the team’s offensive struggles at the time.
A trip to Fenway and two games later, Smyth’s trust in the abilities of his hitters has paid off.
The Whitecaps have 22 hits in their last two games, including three home runs and six different players with multi-hit games in that stretch.
After being hitless since June 16th, Tyler Gentry (Alabama) is now five for his last six with two walks and a run driven in, Luke Berryhill (South Carolina) has started his Whitecaps career hitting .500 and Ryan Bliss (Auburn) hit the first of back to back home runs before Brett Auerbach (Alabama) smashed the second to give the Whitecaps an extra two runs to a one run cushion on Saturday night.
And offense was not the only department lacking in the Whitecaps 11-0 loss at the hands of Wareham. On that Wednesday, Brewster’s pitching was arguably in more disarray that its offense.
Bullpen wise, the Whitecaps were admittedly poor against Yarmouth-Dennis. Surrendering four runs in four innings of work.
But, before the final four frames of Saturday night’s game, Brewster had only surrendered one run in 14 innings of work. Starting pitchers Mason Black (Lehigh) and Matthew Mikulski (Fordham) together have thrown 10.2 scoreless innings in Brewster’s last two games.
Combine those performances with some luck (Molfetta’s home run on Friday that was caught and then accidentally dropped over the center field fence in Bourne for a home run) and defense (Brett Auerbach’s (Alabama) leaping catch at the wall to rob Red Sox designated hitter Noah Campbell (South Carolina) a double) and the result is another Whitecaps winning streak.
Brewster bullpen coach Gene Bowles said it best.
“The ‘Caps are hot!”
Brewster hosts the Red Sox in the second leg of a home and home on Sunday. First pitch from Stony Brook Field is at 5 p.m.
By: Frankie Vernouski
BOURNE, M.A.—A run had already come home in the ninth and the tying run was on first, but Sean Fisher (Maryland) retired the last two Braves to secure the 2-1 victory.
Tonight marked the first win for Brewster (7-6-1) in nine days and second win over Bourne (5-7-0) this season.
Perhaps it was a good sign for the ’Caps when Ryan Bliss (Auburn) led the game off with a base-hit—his first for the team. Many hits were still to-come for Brewster. The Whitecaps bats knocked 13 hits after only four in Wednesday night’s loss to the Gatemen.
Mason Black (Lehigh) shined in his start for the ’Caps. He worked 5.2 innings and scattered four hits and a walk in that time. Only two Braves reached scoring position with the freshman on the mound.
In 15.1 innings on the season now, Black has only allowed one unearned run and struck out 18.
The bats were solid too—seven Whitecaps had a hit and eight reached base.
The biggest hit of the night came from Christian Molfetta (Stanford).
The Cardinal led off the third inning with a homerun that actually did not clear the fence on its own. Molfetta drove one to deep left-center on the first pitch he saw. Seemingly, the center-fielder Jud Fabian (Florida) caught it, but he hit the wall, and the ball jarred loose and popped over the fence. 1-0 Brewster.
The Whitecaps created plenty of other opportunities throughout the night but mostly could not capitalize. Ten men were left on base including five in the pivotal final three innings.
Gage Workman (Arizona State) scored in the eighth from a Tyler Gentry (Alabama) sacrifice fly to right. Gentry, who entered Friday’s game in a rough 0-23 stretch, went 2-3 with an RBI.
Fisher earned the save by dancing through trouble. He entered the eighth inning with one out and one man on. After allowing a double to Cade Beloso (LSU), Fisher forced a groundout to escape.
In the ninth, the Terrapin walked the lead-off man Nick Brueser (Stanford) who later scored from a one-out Henry Davis (Louisville) single. A strikeout and a groundout ended the trouble, though, to finish things 2-1.
Overall, Brewster had a much-needed victory and left the park happy. As I walked to my car after the game, Whitecaps assistant coach Gene Bowles had a message to cap the night.
“Frankie,” he yelled out of the front-row window of the team bus. “The ’Caps are hot!”
Next up is a home-and-home against Y-D starting in Yarmouth Saturday night at 5:00.
By: Koki Riley
Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. And sometimes, it’s downright ugly.
And an eight run ninth inning certainly qualifies as ugly. That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday evening at Stony Brook Field between the Brewster Whitecaps (6-6-1) and the Wareham Gatemen (7-5) in the Gatemen’s 11-0 thrashing of the Whitecaps.
Carson Coleman (Kentucky) and Peyton Alford (Virginia Tech) surrendered all eight runs in the ninth. And all eight runs were earned.
“Hitting is contagious. We’ve seen it on our end too,” Whitecaps hitting coach Ryan Smyth said. “Sometimes that’s not the easiest thing. The other teams hitting the ball, they’ve got a lot of confidence, things are going their way.”
It was a surprising performance given how solid the Whitecaps bullpen had been up to that point. Even before the final frame, the Whitecaps bullpen had allowed just one run in 3.2 innings pitched.
And yes, Brewster hadn’t played a game since Sunday’s double header in Cotuit. But there’s a difference between losing 3-0 and losing 11-0.
Offensively, the Whitecaps struggled for a third consecutive game. After scoring just four runs in last weekend’s double header, Brewster weren’t able to record a hit from innings three through eight.
In fact, the only time the Whitecaps came even close to recording a run was in the ninth inning when a single from Ciaran Devenney (UMass Lowell) nearly scored Luke Berryhill (South Carolina), who made his Whitecaps debut on Wednesday, from second base.
Instead Berryhill was thrown out at home plate, and Brewster’s night ended with a zero.
“We just need to get back in a rhythm,” Smyth said. “When we can play consistent baseball, day after day, constantly take batting practice, we can get into a rhythm.
Not all was wrong on Wednesday evening for the Whitecaps. Starting pitcher Cam Tringali (South Carolina) allowed just two earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched against a tough Gatemen offense. Striking out five batters and walking only one in the process.
Through 13.1 innings pitched this season, including three starts, Tringali’s 2.70 ERA and 14 strikeouts has led a somewhat inconsistent Whitecaps starting staff.
There will be no game for Brewster on Thursday when they head to Fenway Park for team workouts in front of scouts. But, the Whitecaps will head to Bourne on Friday for their next game.
By: Koki Riley
On Sunday afternoon, the Brewster Whitecaps (6-5-1) were many things, but they certainly were not energetic.
“These guys are tired. The bats look slower, the feet look slower and the arms look slower,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “Mentally I think they’re drained a little bit.”
A 5-2 defeat in Game 1 followed by a 6-2 loss in Game 2 against the Cotuit Kettleers (6-4) in Cotuit summed up a sluggish and at times lifeless afternoon for the Whitecaps.
Between both games, Brewster mustered just nine hits offensively while its starters surrendered seven runs in 7.1 innings pitched defensively.
And despite the fact that the Whitecaps were able to come back from 2-0 deficits early on in both games, Brewster couldn’t stop the Kettleers momentum that started in the first inning of Game 1 when a throwing error from Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) allowed a run to score to make it 1-0 Cotuit.
Two batters later, a single from Adam Oviedo (Oral Roberts) scored Casey Schmitt (San Diego State), who reached on Hardman’s throwing error, to quickly make it 2-0 Kettleers.
From then on, Cotuit kept a stranglehold on the Whitecaps chances of victory for the rest of the afternoon. 0-3-1 in their previous four matchups, Cotuit’s desperation for wins trumped the Whitecaps will to maintain their seven-game point streak.
After shutting down the Orleans Firebirds in his previous start, Chandler Jozwiak (Texas A&M) wasn’t nearly as sharp in Game 1 against Cotuit. Errors plagued the lefty in the first frame, but the two-run home run the Texas native surrendered to Nick Gonzalez (New Mexico State) in the fourth inning after Brewster had just tied the game was a back breaking play for the Whitecaps.
It was the kind of momentum shifting instant that defined both games.
And Jozwiak’s successor, Sean Hunley (Tennessee), was even less effective. Allowing three runs in three innings of work before handing the ball to a bullpen that appeared solid at first, but eventually faltered in the fifth inning when Stevie Emmanuels (Washington) allowed three runs, including two home runs, to blow open the Cotuit lead from one run to four in a blink of an eye.
“Hopefully after tomorrow we’ll get back in the win column,” Shevchik said. “We’ve got to get back in (the win column) quick.”
The Whitecaps have Monday off but on Tuesday head back home to play the Falmouth Commodores for the first time this season. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than to be good.
On Thursday night, the Brewster Whitecaps (6-3-1) learned that exact lesson in their 5-5 tie with the Chatham Anglers (4-3-1) when loads of rain began falling from the sky midway through the top of the seventh inning just as the Anglers took a 7-5 lead over the Whitecaps.
Two passed balls allowed by Brewster catcher Brett Auerbach (Alabama), in a seventh inning that was eventually scrapped from the record books, seemed to be the end of what was a dramatic five-run comeback for the Whitecaps. But thankfully for Brewster, the baseball gods came to the rescue.
“I got an alert on my watch that the rain was coming in about 10 minutes and as soon as those two passed balls went through Carson Coleman (Kentucky) was standing next to me and said, ‘well if it’s going to rain let it rain right now,’ and as soon as I said that it opened up,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
But before the rain washed away any chances of victory for either side, the actual game itself was extremely entertaining.
A tough start from Jimmy Ramsey (Kentucky) on the bump for Brewster saw the Whitecaps down 5-0 by the end of the top of the fourth. But, an errant throw from Cade Cabbiness (Oklahoma State) from right field and an RBI single from Eric Foggo (Stetson) quickly cut the deficit to three in the bottom of the inning.
Then, two innings later, a solo home run from Alerick Soularie (Tennessee) and a bloop RBI single from Dominic Toso (Bucknell) suddenly cut the Brewster deficit to one all while Whitecaps relief pitcher Tyler Follis (Louisiana Tech) continued to produce outs on the mound against one of the deepest and most talented lineups on the Cape.
By the end of the night, Follis struck out five and allowed just one hit in three and a third innings of relief. In the process, the Texas native gave the Whitecaps offense a chance of coming back from a five-run deficit in a game that at times felt hopeless from a Brewster perspective.
“His velocity was not your standard 90 to 93. It was more of the 86 to 88 range,” Shevchik said. “That’s a tough lineup (the Anglers lineup) a murderer’s row that can handle 95 (miles an hour) straight. I think Follis had them a little off balance and disrupted (their) timing.”
The Whitecaps went on to tie the game an inning later in the sixth on a passed ball that allowed Auerbach to score from third base.
And to the dismay of Anglers fans, the run scoring passed ball was the last run that counted in the game. The rain made sure of that.
“When your struggling it’s like you’re playing in quick sand,” Shevchik said. “But when you’re winning and you’re getting the bounces and things are going your way, stuff like this happens.”
The Whitecaps go to Chatham on Friday night to finish off a home and home series with the Anglers. First pitch from Veterans Field is at 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
T.J. Collett (Kentucky) is a man of many superstitions.
“If I am ever in a slump I play with my socks inside out, have my batting gloves undone and I switch bats,” Collett said.
Collett, the Whitecaps starting designated hitter, is not what you’d call your everyday Cape League temporary player. He holds superstitions, plays the game in a worry-free manner despite arriving at the ballpark knowing that any day could be his last and, most importantly for Brewster, can hit a baseball with the best of them.
On Wednesday night from Whitehouse Field, it was Collett, the same man who is willing to play a Division 1 baseball game with his socks inside out, whose solo home runs in the second and third innings were the difference in the Whitecaps (6-3) 4-2 victory over the Harwich Mariners (3-5).
An RBI single from Ciaran Devenney (UMass Lowell) and an RBI double from Colin Davis (Wofford) along with Collett’s offensive showcase proved to be enough in a fog filled and strikeout heavy affair.
But even as the fog rolled in and out and back in again throughout the night, the amount strikeouts, for both sides, occurred at a much more regular rate. Mariners batters struck out 15 times to Brewster’s 12. At one point, Harwich saw its hitters strike out nine times from the fourth inning until the sixth.
Recording seven of those nine strikeouts and finishing with eight strikeouts of his own on the night was Whitecaps relief pitcher Mason Black (Lehigh) who in 4.1 innings pitched recorded a staggering eight strikeouts.
“He had the swing and miss fastball today,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the win. “(Black) was only supposed to go two innings today and he was going to start on Sunday. But it was a tight game, he felt really good, he had the hitters in check so we let him ride.”
The Whitecaps bullpen as a whole has been brilliant, allowing just seven earned runs as a unit in nine games this season. And with Carson Coleman (Kentucky) closing out the game in the ninth, the Brewster pen allowed just one run and one hit in 5.1 innings of relief on the night.
Now winners of their last six, the Whitecaps own a three-point lead in the Eastern Divisional standings and lead the Cape League in wins.
“I know it’s early but it’s fun to be a part of (this team),” Shevchik said.
By: Koki Riley
Winners of their last five games the Brewster Whitecaps (5-3) are hot. From the field, to the dugout and in the stands, it’s obvious to see why.
Unlike the Whitecaps team that started the season uptight and timid (especially at the plate), this Whitecaps team is loose, has fun and aren’t afraid to show it.
“Anybody who has been around this team for nine games can see it,” said Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik. “These guys are just playing loose and really having fun. It’s almost like you’re anticipating to scoring a run every inning.”
On Saturday and Monday night it was the Brewster pitching that led the way. On Sunday, it was the offense. So, on Tuesday it was only natural that it was the Whitecaps defense that came to save the day.
Holding a narrow 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth, Bourne (3-4) had a runner on second base and two out for their shortstop and two-hole hitter Alika Williams (Arizona State).
On the first pitch of the at bat, Williams poked a single into the gap between shortstop and third base for a single. Kyle Hess (Pittsburgh), the runner at second base, rounded third base and started heading toward home.
As Hess was rounding third, Brewster left fielder Brett Auerbach (Alabama) fielded the hard-hit ground ball cleanly before throwing a dart to home plate.
The throw was on the money, the tag was perfectly placed and Hess was out. And due to darkness and a thick layer of fog surrounding the field, the game was over as well.
“I was talking to Colin (Davis) (Wofford) and I was like ‘hey, we have to scoot in to make sure that he (Hess) doesn’t score,’” Auerbach said after the win. “Once (the ball) got though I knew I had a pretty good shot (at throwing him out).”
“When the breaks are going your way and you’re clicking, people make plays like that to win a game,” Shevchik said.
Besides Auerbach’s late game heroics, Brewster’s defense was spectacular all night. Finishing the game with no errors which included a highlight reel catch from Gage Workman (Arizona State) and a huge out at home plate from Whitecaps third baseman Marcos Castanon (UC Santa Barbara) on a first and third situation in the sixth inning.
Pitching wise, the Whitecaps had command issues (eight walks), but good defense and key strikeouts limited the potential of a big inning for the Braves. And offensively, after being unable to grab even a hit from innings four through six, a walk and a two out triple from Davis, who was hitless up to that point in the game, in the seventh inning was enough to give Brewster the lead back at 4-3.
Yes, the Whitecaps were certainly not at their best today. Walks and a three-inning hiatus offensively wasn’t ideal. But that’s what good teams do. Win games even when they’re not at their best.
Brewster will head down the road to play the Harwich Mariners at Whitehouse Field tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.
By Roy Bowler
The Brewster Whitecaps (4-3) finished off a three-game sweep of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (0-6-1) on Monday night. But unlike the first two games, the Whitecaps were led by their pitching.
Cam Tringali, from the University of South Carolina, got the start and had to work hard in the first inning, throwing 35 pitches and loading the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch. The threat ended when Gage Workman (Arizona State) snagged a line drive out of the air and Hyannis left the bases loaded.
After the game Tringali mentioned Workman’s play and explained that after that, the team “really got rolling” and it helped get him in a rhythm. Tringali went on to retire 11 straight batters.
The Whitecaps had plenty of action on the base paths in the first three innings but stranded 3 runners. Eric Foggo (Stetson University) ended that when he launched an opposite-field home run in the fourth inning with Marcos Castonon (UC Santa Barbara) on base. This gave Brewster a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish.
Justin Vought (Maryland) added some insurance with another opposite-field solo shot, to lead off the sixth inning. After the game, Vought said he was looking for something to drive and got a 1-1 changeup and was able to do just that.
Tringali allowed only 2 hits in 5+ innings pitched and after control issues in the first, he did not allow any more free passes. He credited his fastball command and strong defense as integral parts of his successful start and win.
Sean Fisher (Maryland) came on in relief of Tringali, and was equally impressive. He threw three innings of two-hit, no run ball. So far this season, Fisher has pitched 5.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA in three outings.
Billy McKay (Central Florida) came on to close the game for Brewster in the ninth, and had a stress-free 1-2-3 inning to secure the 3-0 victory, the fourth straight for Brewster.
For the first time since July 16th, 2017 the Whitecaps are over .500. It is also their first four-game winning streak since that same month.
By: Koki Riley
On Sunday afternoon, there was a party at Stony Brook Field. A party in the form of a hitting party for the Brewster Whitecaps (3-3) in their double header sweep of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (0-5-1).
How wild was this party? It was crazy enough to feature 23 runs on 19 hits from the Whitecaps, Brewster’s first two home runs of the season from Colin Davis (Wofford) and T.J. Collett (Kentucky), eight extra base hits, 12 walks and saw Brewster score at least once in 11 of the 12 frames that the Whitecaps were up to bat.
“I was starting to wonder who was going to get (the first home run),” Collett said. “I got the right pitch and it ended up being me.”
For a team that was only able to scratch across eight runs in its previous four games, Sunday’s offensive output was simply stunning. To call the Whitecaps offensive performance a clinic may have been an understatement, especially in a league where offense, at times, is hard to find.
“After we got that first win last night there was just a different feel in the dugout. The pressure was off. We could relax a little bit,” Brewster head coach Jamie Shevchik said after game two of the double header. “We had better swings today. It was a good team effort.”
Brett Auerbach (Alabama) went 2-2 from with three runs batted in game number two, Collett finished his afternoon with six runs batted in and Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) had a pair of hits and scored twice in the first game of the double header.
But the Whitecap who shined the brightest at the plate was Davis. After being picked up from Cotuit on Friday and making his Whitecaps debut on Saturday night in Orleans, the Terriers outfielder finished his afternoon with two doubles, three walks and a home run.
“I’m trying to stay focused as much as I can with everything going on,” Davis said. “I’m really liking this team (and I’m) really looking forward to playing with these guys.”
And although Brewster’s pitching wasn’t spectacular today, allowing nine runs in 14 innings, the Whitecaps staff didn’t need to be spotless. 23 runs in 12 innings can give a team the kind of breathing room it needs to pitch without pressure.
“It’s a lot easier (to pitch) when your offense is clicking because you are on the verge of scoring a couple runs,” Shevchik said. “In our first three games our pitchers felt like they needed to be perfect.”
The Whitecaps attempt to take this party on the road to Hyannis tomorrow night in another matchup against the Harbor Hawks from McKeon Park. First pitch is at 6 p.m.