By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, MA- It wasn’t exactly Joe Namath before Super Bowl III, but Brewster Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik clearly knew what he was talking about when he guaranteed a victory over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in Sunday’s game.
“We’ll beat them tomorrow, I promise you that,” said Shevchik, just minutes after his Whitecaps fell to the Red Sox on Saturday.
Thanks to a stellar start by Will Tribucher (Michigan) and a rejuvenated offense, Shevchik’s prediction held true as Brewster beat Y-D 5-1 at Red Wilson Field, the first time Brewster was victorious over the Red Sox all season.
“It feels good,” Tribucher said about finally beating the Red Sox. “This year we’ve been playing well, already clinched the playoffs, so I think going into that, trying to get the best seed we can, beating Y-D was a big win for us.”
In just his third start for Brewster (19-20-2), Tribucher (1-2) shut down a potent Red Sox (25-14-1) offense over six innings, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out seven.
“I felt good,” Tribucher said. “Me and Mickey [Gasper] were working really well behind there. We were in sync the whole game, getting groundballs and making the defense work. They made a couple of nice plays behind us and kept us in it.”
The southpaw did not surrender a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Nico Hoerner (Stanford) led off the frame with a single to right field.
“It was a great start by Will,” said Shevchik. “We’re trying to find who that second or third guy to start in the playoffs and I think he may have earned the right to get in there and do that today. That is one of the better starts we’ve seen all summer long. I’ve seen from Will, have an awful start not too long ago and for him to bounce back today, just like he did today. He owned both sides of the plate and threw his breaking ball when he needed to. Today was just a great day.”
Once Tribucher started dealing, the Whitecaps’ offense took care of the rest.
Marty Costes (Maryland) led the way, going 4-5 on the day with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Costes has been on fire recently, raising his average from .197 to .302 over the last eight games.
It was Costes who gave the Whitecaps the initial lead, singling home Chandler Taylor (Alabama) in the top of the first inning to get the Brewster scoring going.
Then in the sixth inning, Costes switched roles, this time scoring Brewster’s second run after Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) singled to right to double the Whitecaps lead to 2-0.
After Taylor drove in a run of his own on a single to left and moved to third on a stolen base, Costes brought him home with his second RBI-single, giving Brewster a 4-1 advantage in the seventh.
Despite reaching base three times on two walks and a hit-by-pitch, Nick Dunn (Maryland) stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning still looking to extend his hitting streak to sixteen games.
On the very first pitch he saw from Red Sox reliever Tommy Henry (Michigan), however, Dunn extended his streak in the grandest way possible, launching his first home run of the season to straightaway center field and extending the Brewster lead to 5-1.
“They’re playing their baseball at the right time,” Shevchik said about the two Maryland teammates. “If we’re going to do anything in the playoffs or make a run at anything, our guys need to be playing their best baseball. I think we’re there, or almost there. Guys like Nick and Marty, Chandler Taylor still doing what he needs to do, a couple guys need to catch fire a little bit. When you get to the playoffs, anybody can win. We just need to make sure we’re peaking at the right time.”
As soon as the ball left Dunn’s bat, the Whitecaps’ dugout erupted in cheers. Dunn’s hitting streak is the longest in the Cape League this season and after a 1-2 performance, his .339 average is good for fourth in the league.
“This is the time of the year where everybody is pulling for each other,” Shevchik said about the team’s chemistry. “At the beginning of the year, for the first couple weeks, nobody knows each other and the team chemistry isn’t there. We’re in the playoffs in a couple days and the guys are still here, still working hard, and that’s all we can ask for.”
After being no-hit for five innings, the Red Sox would finally break through in the sixth inning. Following back-to-back walks to load the bases, Connor Kaiser (Vanderbilt) lined a single to right, scoring Y-D’s only run of the game.
The Red Sox tried to bring home another run on the play, but a strong throw from Taylor in right caught Carter Pharis (UAB) at home to end the inning.
The play at the plate was the closest the Red Sox came to scoring a run for the remainder of the contest, as the Whitecaps’ bullpen was near-perfect to close out the game
Sam Bordner (Louisville) tossed two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts before Shevchik turned the ball over to Ryan Cyr (Kansas), making his Cape League debut.
Cyr threw a scoreless ninth, allowing just one walk and striking out two to end the game.
For Y-D, starter John Rooney (Hofstra) had a rocky first inning, but settled in nicely and allowed only one run in five innings of two-hit ball.
The Red Sox bullpen did not replicate the same success, however, as Tanner Graham (UAB) and Henry allowed four combined runs in four innings of work.
When asked if he had any more predictions, Shevchik played it safe.
“Nope. I’ve saved them,” the Whitecaps skipper said. “I pick and choose when I’m going to use those so I know I’m always going to be right. I don’t hand those out lightly.”
WHAT’S NEXT: After a day off on Monday, the Whitecaps return home against the Orleans Firebirds on Tuesday. First pitch at Stony Brook Field is scheduled for 4 p.m., an hour earlier than normal as the sun begins to set earlier.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Entering Saturday on a two-game winning streak and returning home to Stony Brook Field, it seemed it was the perfect opportunity for the Brewster Whitecaps to beat the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox for the first time this season.
Unfortunately for Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik, his offense went silent for the first eight innings, allowing the Red Sox to jump out to a 4-0 lead and eventually falling to Y-D (25-13-1) 4-2.
“They’re good. They’re very good,” Shevchik said about the Red Sox. “They’re solid all the way through the lineup and they’ve got good pitching. We did tie them once, and we’ve still got a game to play tomorrow.”
Brewster (18-20-2) didn’t score until the bottom of the ninth, when a Michael Curry (Georgia) groundout to short brought home Marty Costes (Maryland), who led the inning off with a single.
A Christian Molfetta (Stanford) RBI-single brought home Brewster’s second run before Brendan Nail (Western Carolina) shut the door on a Whitecaps comeback, earning the save and ending the game.
“Their coach calls a different game than most guys in this league,” said Molfetta, who finished the day 2-5. “So, you kind of have to stick with it and the first couple at-bats are usually tough, but I stayed with my approach throughout the game and when it gets dark out that’s something that I could rely on to get a hit. I mean it was hard to see the ball, but I was looking for a pitch away and I got a fastball away and I was able to react and I was lucky enough to hit it through the hole.”
Although Brewster didn’t score until the ninth, the opportunities to touch home presented themselves, but the Whitecaps couldn’t capitalize.
“Today was a scripted game. We knew exactly which guys we were going to play and a handful of substitutes,” Shevchik said. “I’ve said this before, it’s about getting guys some at-bats and some time at this point. I don’t care who we play in the playoffs, we’re not trying to position ourselves to be in a certain spot. Now it’s about preparing our guys for next weekend.”
In the sixth inning, Brewster would load the bases with just one out for two of the most powerful bats in their lineup.
Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) and Chandler Taylor (Alabama) would both strike out, however, getting Y-D out of the jam.
The Whitecaps loaded the bases once again in the seventh, but Molfetta grounded out to second, ending the threat.
“We also have a lot of different guys coming in and out of the game right now, guys playing different positions,” said Molfetta. “So, there’s a lot of stuff going on right now, but I think once playoffs get closer, the last couple games of the season we’ll see guys coming through with runners on base”
In total, Brewster left ten runners on base, struggling to come up with the big hit that, for the team, has felt absent too often this season.
“After clinching there’s kind of a relief which can be a trap at times, because, you know, we made the playoffs so we kind of relax,” Molfetta said. “But at the same time, it’s quality reps for all of us. So, I think as we get closer to the playoffs you’ll start to see our offense start to click more.”
“We had opportunities to score runs today and just didn’t,” said Shevchik. “Maybe the right guys just not in the right spot. We’re expecting all these guys to contribute at some point in the game, so that’s why we’re doing what we did today.”
Righty Drew Reveno (St. Louis) made his first start on the mound for the Whitecaps, keeping the Red Sox within striking distance for his offense.
Reveno went five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, while striking out three.
After working two scoreless frames to start his outing, Reveno ran into trouble in the third, when a Nico Hoerner (Stanford) squeeze play brought home Y-D’s first run.
The Red Sox tacked on another run on an RBI-double from Alfonso Rivas (Arizona), who continues to haunt the Whitecaps. Four of the nine runs Rivas has driven in this year have come against Brewster.
The third run came home in the fifth inning when Zack Gahagan (UNC) missed a pop fly in shallow left field that would have ended the inning.
Y-D took a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning on an RBI-single off Brewster reliever Troy Miller (Michigan), who was making his Whitecaps debut.
Miller went two and two-thirds innings, allowing just one run on four hits.
After the Wolverine, Shevchik turned to Conor McNamara (Marist) to close the game out. McNamara struck out the only batter he faced in the eighth before striking out two more in a scoreless ninth.
“They pitched well enough,” Shevchik said about his three pitchers. “We’re a hard team to keep under four runs, so I thought they pitched well enough. We made some mistakes defensively that cost us some runs. I mean, really, this game should have been 2-0, 3-0 at best, and we just didn’t produce anything offensively.”
On the mound for the Red Sox was Andrew Quezada (Cal State Fullerton), who shut down the Whitecaps over six innings of four-hit, scoreless ball, earning his fourth win.
Jacob Wloczewski (Binghamton) did not allow a run in the seventh inning before the Whitecaps crossed two against Hunter Parsons (Maryland) in the ninth.
The Whitecaps committed two errors in the game, raising their season total to 55 and lowering their already league-worst fielding percentage to .962.
“I think if we limit walks and limit our errors we’ll be fine,” Molfetta said. “They take advantage of a lot of mistakes that we make. I think if we play clean defensive baseball we’ll be fine.”
Shevchik, who hasn’t shied away from bold predictions this season, delivered one more.
“We’ll beat them tomorrow, I promise you that,” said the Brewster skipper.
Brewster second baseman Nick Dunn (Maryland) extended his hitting streak to fifteen games with a single in the sixth inning. The streak is the longest in the Cape League this season.
WHAT’S NEXT: The two Eastern Division rivals continue to jockey for playoff positioning in game two of the home-and-home on Sunday at Red Wilson Field in Yarmouth. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Aodhán Doyle
BOURNE, MA- In a seesaw battle that featured the twists and turns of a rural country road and the back-and-forth blows of a heavyweight boxing bout, the Brewster Whitecaps emerged victorious 7-6 over the Bourne Braves at Doran Park on Friday.
With a playoff berth already clinched, Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik penciled-in a new-look lineup, featuring primarily players who have been used as role players coming off the bench thus far this season.
“At this point, it’s just staying loose and playing comfortable,” Shevchik said after the game. “Hopefully when we get into the playoffs, we’re on our way up and we’re playing our best baseball. The more guys we can get to play our best baseball, the better we’re going to be.”
What happened next was surprising to some, satisfying to others, and exciting to all. The lineup produced, and produced a lot, battling with a Braves (20-18) team that entered the game in first place in the Western Division.
Eight of the nine Brewster (18-19-2) starters had a hit, with six recording multi-hit games.
“It was good. It was good to get them reps, get them at-bats in a game, and it was good to see them do well,” said Brewster second baseman Nick Dunn (Maryland) about the new lineup.
“I’m glad to see guys like Devin Foyle, [Darius] Hill, and Molfetta be really comfortable today,” Shevchik said. “That says we can rely on those guys in the playoffs. You always have an idea what you think you think your best lineup is going to be and that’s never the case. A lot of it depends on who’s hot at the right time. If one or a handful of these guys can emerge as locked-in heading into the playoffs, that’d be big for us.”
The biggest hit of the game, however, came off the bat of Dunn, whose eighth inning RBI-single to center scored Darius Hill (West Virginia) and gave Brewster the one-run edge.
“With two outs, I just tried to wait for a pitch I could put in play hard,” said Dunn.
Dunn finished the day 3-4 with a walk, a run, and a stolen base, extending his hitting streak to fourteen games, the longest active streak in the league, and raising his season average to .336.
After jumping out to an early 1-0 lead, a four-run inning for the Braves in the bottom half of the third put the Whitecaps in a 4-1 hole.
However, Brewster responded, swinging the momentum back in the favor of the Whitecaps.
After a Marty Costes (Maryland) single loaded the bases with nobody out, Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb) grounded into a double play, scoring Connor Smith (Western Michigan) and cutting the Brewster deficit to two.
Then, Christian Molfetta (Stanford) delivered a clutch two-out single, bringing home Chandler Taylor (Alabama) to make it a one-run game.
Just one night after his two-run home run the Whitecaps a lead in Wareham, Taylor launched another go-ahead home run to left field in the top of the seventh inning.
“Those two guys have been amazing,” Shevchik said about Dunn and Taylor. “Guys get on base and they drive them in, they get on base themselves. You put Mickey [Gasper] in that mix and the reason we are at where we are right now is because of those guys.”
Taylor’s three-run bomb put Brewster on top 6-4 and gave Taylor his league-leading ninth long ball of the season. However, unlike the previous night, it was not a lead that Brewster held.
Keeping with the theme of proportionate responses, Bourne tied the game in the bottom of the frame off Brewster reliever Jonathan Stiever (Indiana).
Andy Atwood (Oregon State) led the inning off with a home run to left, and after a miscommunication in the Brewster outfield allowed a routine fly ball to drop in for a double, Lyle Lin (Arizona State) singled to right to knot the game at six.
Dunn’s two-out run scoring single gave Brewster the final edge in the top of the eighth, however, ending the constantly teetering lead changes for good.
Bradley Spooner (Saddleback CC) took the start for the Whitecaps in a game where Shevchik desperately needed his starter to provide length, coming off a game in Wareham in which Brewster used six different pitchers.
Spooner fit the bill perfectly, providing six innings of sufficient work on the mound with the only blip coming in the second, where Bourne scored all four of their runs off the Brewster righty.
The right-hander finished his outing after six innings, allowing seven hits and six runs, while walking three and striking out none. However, in a game where the Whitecaps’ offense knocked the ball around to the tune of fifteen hits, Spooner’s ability to bounce back from the four-run second and provide length was invaluable.
Stiever came on in relief in the seventh, allowing two runs, but pitched a scoreless eighth before closing the game out in the ninth.
Bourne nearly tied the game in the final frame, advancing the tying-run to third with just one out.
Shevchik brought the Brewster infield in and Stiever got Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) to ground out to second, holding the runner at third, before inducing a lineout to right field to end the game and pick up his third win of the summer.
Braves starting pitcher Bryan Hoeing (Louisville) lasted just four innings in his first Cape League start, surrendering six hits and three runs, while striking out four.
The Whitecaps did most of their damage off Chad Luensmann (Nebraska), who gave up four earned runs in two innings, taking the loss for Bourne and falling to 1-1 on the season.
All-in-all, the production from the Brewster lineup was evident. Taylor finished the day 2-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted-in, while Costes raised his season average to .266 with a 3-4 day.
“We’re just trying to find the guys that are dialed in,” Shevchik said. “When we get to the playoffs, we’re going to pinch-hit guys off the bench and make defensive substitutions so I want to make sure that the guys we rely on off the bench have enough confidence and enough at-bats that they’re going to be able to help us out.”
Hill went 2-4 with a run scored, while Zack Gahagan (UNC) finished 2-4, and Foyle (Kansas) went 1-3 with a double to right.
WHAT’S NEXT: After two games on the road, the Whitecaps return home to Stony Brook Field on Saturday for game one of a home-and-home series against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Maura Sheridan
WAREHAM, MA- Entering the top of the fifth inning trailing 5-4, the Brewster Whitecaps needed a spark.
When the moment called for it, Whitecaps right fielder Chandler Taylor (Alabama) delivered, crushing a two-run home run to left field and giving Brewster a 6-5 lead over the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field.
While when the final out was recorded, the scoreboard read 8-7 Whitecaps, it was Taylor’s home run that gave a Brewster a lead they would not relinquish.
“I just wanted to see a good pitch,” Taylor said. “I put a good swing on it and let the rest fall.”
It was Taylor’s eighth home run of the season, putting the Montgomery native in a three-way tie for the league lead in long balls with Cotuit’s Griffin Conine (Duke) and Falmouth’s Marty Bechina (Michigan State).
With the win over the Gatemen, the Whitecaps moved to 17-19-2 on the season. With the Harwich Mariners’ loss to the Bourne Braves at Whitehouse Field, Brewster officially clinched its playoff spot, meaning all four spots in the Eastern Division have been claimed.
“We went all in,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “We wanted to lock this thing down as quickly as we possibly could.”
The Gatemen certainly did not make it easy for the Whitecaps, as Brewster used six different pitchers to battle their way to the victory.
After the Whitecaps got out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a two-run Taylor double, an RBI-single from A.J. Graffanino (Washington), and Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) scoring on a wild pitch, the Gatemen responded with four runs of their own.
Brewster starting pitcher Pauly Milto (Indiana) had trouble with his command and after retiring the first two batters of the inning, surrendered a single, walk, walk, single, hit-by-pitch, and double before the final out of the inning was made.
Milto lasted just two innings before Shevchik turned the ball over to the bullpen.
Joe Demers (Washington) was the first Whitecaps arm to enter in relief, but after working a perfect third inning, DeMers allowed an RBI-double from Kyle Kasser (Oregon) which gave Wareham the 5-4 lead.
After Taylor’s two-run blast, the Whitecaps took charge offensively.
Brewster extended its lead in the top of the seventh when Marty Costes (Maryland) brought Mickey Gasper (Bryant) home with an RBI-triple, his first of the season, giving the Whitecaps a 7-5 advantage.
Graffanino tacked on what turned out to be a very important insurance run with a sacrifice fly, extending Brewster’s lead to 8-5.
Trying to close the game out with a plethora of bullpen arms, Shevchik turned to newly signed and activated reliever Zach Schneider (Florida Atlantic) for the seventh and eighth frames.
Schneider held the Gatemen scoreless, but when the righty was removed, Wareham mounted a rally.
In another debut appearance for the Whitecaps, Connor McNamara (Marist) came on in the ninth to try and close the game out.
Wareham knocked McNamara around for two runs on two hits, making it a one-run game.
Matthew Beck (LSU) was called in to try and get the final out of the ballgame and after allowing an inherited runner to score, making it 8-7, Beck struck out Ben Baird (Washington) looking to end the threat and the game, picking up his second save.
“The next couple of days we can breathe a little bit,” said Shevchik after the win. “We were going to do everything to win this game.”
DeMers (1-1) earned the win for the Whitecaps, while Sam Bordner (Louisville) pitched two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, while striking out two and lowering his season earned run average to 1.59.
Tanner Dodson (California) took the loss for the Gatemen, surrendering two runs over three and two-thirds innings.
Perhaps what was most surprising, however, was the success Brewster found off Gatemen starter Justin Montgomery (Cal Baptist).
Montgomery, who entered the game with a league-leading 1.11 earned run average and was the starting pitcher for the Western Division in Saturday’s All-Star Game, lasted just an inning and a third, giving up four runs on three hits and walking two.
In seven previous appearances this season, Montgomery had only given up a run in one of them.
Taylor finished his day 2-4 with four runs driven in and a walk, while Graffanino drove in two runs of his own, giving him five RBI in the last three games.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster hits the road again on Friday, traveling to Doran Park in Bourne for another interdivision matchup. First pitch between the Whitecaps and Braves is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Coming off a spectacular pitching performance from Tony Locey (Georgia) and arguably the team’s most complete performance on Tuesday night, Brewster Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik hoped the momentum carried into Wednesday’s divisional matchup against the Chatham Anglers.
Unfortunately for Shevchik, his team couldn’t replicate their success, falling 7-4 to the Anglers (18-19) at Stony Brook Field.
Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) made his sixth start of the summer, but allowed six runs in 5.1 innings, walking four, and striking out just two.
All season long, Shevchik has emphasized the importance of setting the tone early, but a three-run first inning had Molettiere (0-4) starting his outing off on the wrong note.
“It’s hard to play baseball when you’re constantly coming from behind,” Shevchik said. “The momentum of the game comes from the starting pitcher and Joe, obviously, didn’t do a great job in that first inning today. He put us behind and we had to struggle to find runs and that was the difference in today’s game if you look at it.”
From the very first inning, when Molettiere walked two batters and hit another, it was clear the right-hander’s command wasn’t sharp. In total, Molettiere threw 83 pitches and just 40 of them for strikes.
“[Molettiere] was behind almost every hitter he faced in the first inning,” said Shevchik. “We were very lucky to come out of the first inning with just giving up three runs. It starts with the starting pitching, always. They set the tone for the rest of the game.”
The Anglers offensive assault began with a bases loaded fielder’s choice by Josh Stowers (Louisville), scoring Jeremy Pena (Maine) and giving Chatham the early 1-0 lead.
Chatham tacked on two more runs on a sacrifice fly and then a two-out RBI-single from Ashton McGee (UNC), giving the Anglers an early 3-0 lead.
Brewster (16-19-2) responded, however, taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third.
Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) got the Whitecaps’ scoring started with a two-run home run to center field, his first long ball of the summer.
“He threw a fastball on the outside half and I took it to left-center field,” Bishop said. “It was one of the best swings I’ve had since being here so it felt good.”
Bishop finished the day 2-3 with two runs driven in, his third consecutive game with a hit.
“I think the more at-bats I get the better I’m seeing the ball,” said Bishop. “It took me a while to get adjusted to some of the pitchers but I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable and I think it’s showing.”
“Hunter’s a big-time player,” said Shevchik. “He’s a guy we stuck with pretty much the entire summer. This is what we expected, the more at-bats he got the better he’s going to be.”
With two runners in scoring position, Mickey Gasper (Bryant) ripped a single to right, driving home both runners and giving the Whitecaps the lead.
After Molettiere held the Anglers scoreless from the second through the fifth innings, Chatham got to the righty again in the sixth.
McGee’s second RBI-single of the game tied it at four before Landon Kay’s (Furman) two-run single gave Chatham the 6-4 advantage.
The seventh and final run of the game for Chatham came in the top of the seventh on a Stowers sacrifice fly.
After Jacob Stevens (Boston College) only lasted two innings for the Anglers, Chatham’s bullpen trio of Rodney Hutchison (UNC), Jack DeGroat (Liberty), and Adam Wolf (Louisville) was phenomenal.
The triad combined for seven innings of scoreless ball, allowing just six hits and striking out four.
Hutchison (2-0) was especially dominant, going five scoreless innings for the Anglers and picking up the victory,
Brewster threatened to tie the game late, but fell short.
In the eighth, Kyle Datres (UNC) and Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) both struck out with two runners in scoring position, ending the inning.
Then, in the ninth, Michael Curry (Georgia) represented the tying run at the plate for the Whitecaps, but struck out looking to end the game.
“I don’t put this all on Joe, either,” said Shevchik.” We took the lead and then just couldn’t hold it. I know our pitching wasn’t sharp today, but I think most of it today was offensively we had opportunities to score some runs and couldn’t push them across.”
After entering the game in the sixth inning, Drew Reveno (St. Louis) pitched an inning and two-thirds in relief, striking out three and allowing one run.
Will Tribucher (Michigan) was the final Brewster arm, allowing just a single hit in two innings of work.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps head to Wareham to face off against the Gatemen at Spillane Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Blessed with a mid-90s fastball, a sharp breaking ball, and a frame built for durability, Brewster Whitecaps starting pitcher Tony Locey (Georgia) possesses talent kids dream of and scouts drool over.
On Tuesday evening at Stony Brook Field, Locey (3-2) showed off every bit of that talent, throwing eight scoreless innings in a 9-0 win over the Cotuit Kettleers.
“When I get into the game it’s all about pitching,” said Locey. “My preparation leading up to it, though, was get my two-seam fastball working, get my off-speed working, and just attack low in the zone.”
Locey, who had gone five innings in all five of his previous starts for Brewster (16-18-2), allowed just three hits, struck out six Kettleer hitters, and lowered his earned run average to 2.91 on the season, good for fifth best in the league.
“He threw a lot of strikes,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “He’s a strikeout pitcher so a lot of times his pitch count is a lot higher than it’s supposed to be by the time we reach the fourth inning. I think he kind of settled in and he pitched to contact a little bit and he wasn’t worried about just chasing strikeouts. This is one of his better starts, if not the best start he’s had all summer long.”
Before the eighth inning, Locey had allowed only one Cotuit (17-17-1) baserunner to reach second base and retired eleven straight batters.
Then in the eighth, the first two hitters reached. Locey bore down, however, retiring the next three hitters in order and keeping the shutout intact.
“That was huge,” Locey said. “I just knew those were my runs and if I was going to give them up, I was going to give them up. I continued to attack low in the zone and I got a few ground balls and they made the plays for me.”
“He’s a competitor,” said Shevchik about Locey. “He’s a guy, if you ever look in the dugout, it’s coach, coach, Tony Locey, coach, coach, coach. He’s right in the middle of the action all the time because he’s a sponge. He constantly wants to just listen and learn and bring stuff back to Georgia with him. He’s been awesome to be around so I’m really happy for him.”
In total, Locey threw 118 pitches, 70 for strikes, and went the farthest into a ballgame that any Brewster starter has gone this season.
“I just took all of my outings into consideration to know what I could do to get better and work on for my next outing,” said Locey. “I still have stuff I have to work on for my next start and I’ll do that this week.”
The Whitecaps offense provided Locey all the run support the righty needed, as Brewster scored nine runs on ten hits.
“We didn’t hit batting practice before the game, so Shev said that was it, so I’m going to go with that,” said Whitecaps outfielder Hunter Bishop (Arizona State). “I think the approach was good, our hitters were seeing it great, and obviously Tony pitched one hell of a game.”
Entering the seventh inning leading 4-0, Brewster broke the game open with a three-run frame.
After a Michael Curry (Georgia) walk loaded the bases, Kyle Datres (UNC) singled home Bishop and Chandler Taylor (Alabama), making it 6-0 Whitecaps.
Brewster then tacked on their seventh run of the game in the same inning as a walk to A.J. Graffanino (Washington) with the bases loaded drove in Curry, making it a seven-run contest.
The Whitecaps were not done scoring runs, however, as Brewster tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning on a single from Zack Gahagan (UNC) that would drive in Bishop. Devin Foyle (Kansas) also scored after the throw to first from third basemen John Cresto (Santa Clara) would sail wide.
With a 9-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, Locey would make way for Matthew Beck (LSU).
Beck would then throw a scoreless ninth inning and close out the game for the Whitecaps to seal the 9-0 victory, the team’s first victory in over a week (July 16th).
“I love seeing Matthew do good and love seeing our whole team do good,” said Locey. “Matthew works a lot in the bullpen and a lot of people don’t see. He puts a lot of work and time in so it’s good he has success on the field.”
“If Tony goes out there and throws three or four innings today, we’re throwing three more guys and those guys are done for three days,” Shevchik said. “For him to really stretch it out for us this time of the year was big for the bullpen. Tony was huge for us today, more than we can explain.”
Despite entering the game with the worst fielding percentage in the league, Brewster did not commit an error in the victory.
“We got a lead and everything went right,” said Shevchik. “It was probably one of the most complete games we’ve played.”
On the flip side for Cotuit, the Kettleers failed to keep the Whitecaps offense at bay after an adequate performance from starting pitcher Austin Kitchen (Coastal Carolina).
Kitchen, who was making his first start, went five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits.
Kitchen allowed two runs in the second inning when consecutive singles from Graffanino and Christian Molfetta (Stanford) drove in a pair of runs for the Whitecaps.
“The first two innings set the tempo for the entire game,” Shevchik said. “Today, the tone was set from the beginning.”
After Kitchen (1-2), the Kettleers’ pitching and defense disintegrated, as the Cotuit bullpen would allow seven runs (four earned) in just three innings of work, while the defense would commit four errors.
The Whitecaps pounced on Jayce Vancena (Michigan), who relieved Kitchen, scoring a pair of runs to make it a 4-0 game.
First, Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) smashed a double into left field to drive in Curry and make it 3-0. Brewster then tacked on their fourth run of the game a few batters later, as Graffanino hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Datres and making it a 4-0 Brewster lead.
Bishop entered the game in the bottom of the second as a pinch-hitter for Steele Walker (Oklahoma).
“[Coach Kanzler] told me just to be ready whenever I was called upon,” Bishop said. “My first two at-bats weren’t very good, I think I broke my bat, but I adjusted.”
Walker was removed from the game with an achilles injury, the same scenario that unfolded on Sunday in Hyannis.
“He’s got a sore achilles,” said Shevchik. “It’s something that he’s probably going to have to sit on for the next couple days. He tried to go back out there today, he probably should have sat. It just wasn’t feeling good, so we didn’t want to push the issue.”
Graffanino finished the day 1-2 with a run scored and three runs batted in.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps are at home again, facing off against the Chatham Anglers on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
HYANNIS, MA - After forcing a tie against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday night, the Brewster Whitecaps dropped game two of the home-and-home series at McKeon Park by a score of 2-1 on Sunday night.
The Whitecaps’ (15-18-2) offense had trouble driving in runs against Hyannis (12-20-3) pitching as Brewster only scratched across six hits all game.
“Big ballpark, wind blowing in, too many flyballs,” said Whitecaps bench coach Tommy Weber. “We needed to put the ball in play more effectively, maybe on the ground or on a line. We hit a lot of flyballs today and the ball wasn’t going to go anywhere so we ended up one run short.”
Brewster did not score until the seventh inning, when a Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) sacrifice fly to right field allowed Nick Dunn (Maryland) to score from third base, tying the game at one.
With two outs and two men on, Connor Smith (Western Michigan) got a chance to give the Whitecaps the lead, but the Whitecaps’ third basemen struck out to end the top half of the inning.
In the bottom half, Hyannis’ first two batters reached, prompting a pitching change from Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik, who replaced Jonathan Stiever (Indiana) with Joe DeMers (Washington).
With two outs in the frame, however, Hyannis catcher, and pinch-hitter, Chris Proctor (Duke) lifted a fly ball down the left field line that just stayed fair before bouncing out of play for a ground-rule double, putting Hyannis back on top 2-1.
While the offense struggled, the Whitecaps’ pitching and defense was exceptional.
Stiever was thrown into the fire for Brewster, entering the game in the third inning trailing 1-0 after Brewster starter Ryan Avidano (Georgia) left the game with general soreness.
“It was kind of crazy, luckily it was pretty early so I had warmed up not too long before that, so it didn’t take me too long,” Stiever said about the circumstances. “As I was warming up, just already getting the mentality that I’m in the game and got to compete.”
Despite the adverse circumstances, Stiever performed admirably, allowing just one run on two hits in four innings of work while striking out two.
“Just trying to work more off the plate a little and mix speeds throughout my outing,” Stiever said. “Hopefully trying to induce some soft contact, which hopefully I did for the most part.”
“A lot of strikes,” Weber said about Stiever’s performance. “It’s the worst kept secret in the world, you’ve got to throw a lot of strikes. You throw a lot of strikes and you’ve got a shot. We played good defense, which was refreshing, but unfortunately we came out on the short side of it.”
Avidano continued his strong pitching for Brewster as the big southpaw surrendered only one a run in just 2.2 innings of work before exiting.
The run came in the first inning when Tyler Frank (Florida Atlantic) beat out the throw from second base on a potential double play, allowing Reece Hampton (Charlotte) to score from third and make it 1-0 Harbor Hawks.
The Whitecaps would not record a single error, snapping a six-game streak in which Brewster committed at least one error in every game.
“We just have put in a lot of time and effort,” Weber said about the team’s defense. “Everybody on this club is working real hard to remedy this problem we’ve had all year long and, basically, we told them just keep at it and eventually the tide will turn and hopefully it has.”
“Also, the rhythm of a pitcher like Stiever tonight, who just kept throwing a lot of strikes, keeps the defense on its toes and it’s easier to make plays.”
However, Hyannis matched Brewster’s defensive and pitching prowess with only one run allowed and only one error committed on the night.
The Harbor Hawks started Tyler Vaughn (Belmont) on the mound who, in his first appearance in the Cape League, did not allow a run on five hits and three strikeouts in five innings of work.
In relief of Vaughn for Hyannis was the trio of Ryan Weiss (Wright State), Christian Tripp (New Mexico), and Nick Sandlin (Southern Mississippi). The triad combined to allow only one run and one hit in four innings of work.
Avidano wasn’t the only Whitecap to leave the game with an injury as starting center fielder Steele Walker (Oklahoma) was removed with achilles soreness.
Walker lined out to the shortstop in his only at-bat in the top of the first inning.
With Harwich dropping their eighth game in a row against Orleans on Sunday night, the Whitecaps are now either three wins or three Harwich losses away from clinching a spot in the playoffs.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps head to Fenway Park in Boston for the league’s annual workout day in front of scouts. The team’s next game is Tuesday evening at Stony Brook Field against the Cotuit Kettleers. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA - After dropping their previous three games, the Brewster Whitecaps came back from a 7-2 deficit to earn their second tie of the season in an 8-8 game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday night.
“It’s not how we wanted it, but we battled back,” said Whitecaps outfielder Steele Walker (Oklahoma). “Obviously not two points, but one point, we’ll take it. We battled back as a team and bonded a little bit together and it wasn’t a loss, so we’ll move on from that.”
The Whitecaps (15-17-2) kick started their rally in the sixth inning when Marty Costes (Maryland) blasted his fifth home run of the season, cutting the five-run deficit to just two.
“I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity I’ve been given,” Costes said. “I’m having fun with these guys and I’m glad they battled to the point where I was even in that situation. It was a good guy on the mound and a 3-2 count. He threw a good pitch and I was lucky to get a bat on it.”
After Hyannis (11-20-3) responded with a run in the seventh, the Whitecaps shortened their deficit from three to one, courtesy of a home run from Walker, making it an 8-7 ballgame.
“Today, I was just trying to stay relaxed, stay loose, not press to hard, and not try to do too much,” said Walker. “I got a couple good pitches to hit and I was able to drive one out of the yard and get our team back in it so I was thankful for that.”
The home run from Walker was his first homer of the season and part of a three-hit day, going 3-5 with the two runs batted in.
“Oh, it’s awesome. If you can have a coach’s support, it’s all a player can ask for,” Walker said about playing under coach Jamie Shevchik. “It makes you want to go out and play hard for him. I’m thankful that I have a coach that supports me no matter what, respects my game and appreciates my value and I just want to go out there and play as hard as I can and make him proud.”
Brewster finally tied the game in the eighth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly to right field from A.J. Graffanino (Washington), driving in Chandler Taylor (Alabama) from third base and knotting the game at eight.
In the ninth inning, it seemed as if Nick Dunn (Maryland) won the game for Brewster on a walk-off home run, but after some conferencing between the umpires it was determined that Dunn’s shot to center field was instead a ground-rule double.
This still left a prime opportunity for Brewster to win the game, however, with a runner in scoring position, just one out, and the middle of the order coming up.
However, after an intentional walk to Mickey Gasper (Bryant), back-to-back strikeouts of Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) and Taylor by Hyannis reliever Ethan Larrison (Indiana State) ended the game as the umpires ruled out extra-innings due to darkness.
“Every game counts from here on out,” Costes said. “It was big for us to not hang our heads today and comeback and make it a game there at the end.”
Before Brewster’s comeback, the Harbor Hawks scored at least run in four consecutive innings between the second and fifth frames.
Hyannis crossed two in the second on a Hunter Stovall (Mississippi State) double and a Hunter Stovall (Rice) single.
Then in the third, the Harbor Hawks extended their lead to 4-2 on a Robert Neustrom (Iowa) home run to right field.
One of the strangest plays of the season resulted in two more Hyannis runs in the top of the fourth.
With two runners on and two outs, Reece Hampton (UNC-Charlotte) lined a single to center field, easily scoring the first runner from second. However, Walker’s throw from center came into third and hit the second runner in the back as he slid head-first into third, ricocheting out of play and allowing the second run to come home. It was a perfect throw from Walker, but went in the scorebook as an error in an instance of bad luck for the Whitecaps and their centerfielder.
Hyannis tacked on their seventh run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brendan Donovan, giving the Harbor Hawks a 7-2 edge in the fifth.
The Whitecaps got their first two runs on a Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) home run to left. The two-run shot was the first long ball of the season for Infante and was the first of three home runs on the day for Brewster.
“It’s fun when you see those guys being able to contribute in that fashion,” Costes said about Walker and Infante’s home runs. “Steele, ever since he’s gotten back he’s been a big part for us and Julian has always been a big part for us so to see him leave the field it was fun for him. I saw it coming when I was on second base. He was so happy and that’s what it’s all about.”
With a combined sixteen runs crossing the plate in the game, the pitching for either team didn’t find much success.
For Brewster, starting pitcher Pauly Milto (Indiana) would give up six runs (four earned) in just four innings of work.
However, the Brewster relief trio of Jonathan Stiever (Indiana), Joe DeMers (Washington), and Sam Bordner (Louisville) combined to give up only two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings of work.
Bordner closed the game out for the Whitecaps with two perfect frames and a strikeout.
As for Hyannis, Jordan Martinson (Dallas Baptist) had a solid start, surrendering only two runs in five innings of work and striking out five.
In relief of Martinson, the trio of Davis Vainer (Alabama), Trysten Barlow (Mississippi State), Larrison failed to protect the team’s lead, as the three relievers combined to allow six runs (five earned) in four innings.
High-scoring affairs have been the norm for Hyannis pitchers all season, however, as the Harbor Hawks sport the highest team earned run average in the Cape League at an abysmal 5.65.
WHAT’S NEXT: All but four Whitecaps have a day off on Saturday with the CCBL All-Star Game being played at Spillane Field in Wareham at 6:05 pm. Gasper and Michael Curry (Georgia) are starting for the Eastern Division at first base and designated hitter, respectively. Robert Broom (Mercer) was selected as a member of the East's bullpen. Taylor is also getting in on the festivities as the slugger will participate in the Cape League Home Run Derby prior to the game.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Entering Thursday evening’s contest, the Brewster Whitecaps ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard amongst Cape League teams in errors committed and fielding percentage.
The Whitecaps’ numbers only got worse on Thursday, as Brewster (15-17-1) committed four errors on four consecutive plays in the top of the fifth inning, leading to a seven-run frame for the Orleans Firebirds (22-11) and an eventual 8-6 Orleans win that was called due to darkness after seven innings.
“It’s certainly a microcosm of our entire season, there’s no doubt about it,” said Whitecaps bench coach Tommy Weber, who filled in after coach Jamie Shevchik was ejected in the fourth inning. “We are working really hard. Every player on this club is working very, very hard to try and remedy this thing, but we just haven’t gotten around to it and tonight it reared its ugly head again and we gave them a game we should have had.”
The onslaught of errors from the Whitecaps began on an errant throw from Brewster second baseman Nick Dunn (Maryland), allowing Orleans center fielder Jimmy Herron (Duke) to advance to second.
Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) then reached on another Dunn error before Romy Gonzalez (Miami) lined a ball to center field which dropped for a single in front of Steele Walker (Oklahoma), but Walker lost his footing, allowing the ball to roll to the wall, scoring two, and going as the third Brewster error of the inning.
With the score now 6-3 Whitecaps and still nobody out in the inning, the miscues didn’t stop there.
Stephen Scott (Vanderbilt) hit a routine groundball to second, which Gonzalez would have scored on regardless, but Dunn booted it, allowing Scott to reach and going in the books as Dunn’s third error of the inning.
After a Steve Passatempo (UMass-Lowell) singled, Brewster went to its bullpen, calling on Will Tribucher (Michigan), who didn’t find much luck against a tough Firebirds lineup.
Four more Firebirds runs crossed the plate after Tribucher entered, including two on a pinch-hit Niko Decolati (Loyola Marymount) single.
All-in-all, Orleans scored seven runs in the inning, taking an 8-6 lead which they would hold.
While the Firebirds had their fair share of excitement in the fifth, there were plenty of fireworks earlier in the game.
The Whitecaps built their lead on a pair of Chandler Taylor (Alabama) home runs.
The first, a three-run shot to straightaway center field, put Brewster up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Then, Taylor launched his second blast, his seventh of the season which entered him into a three-way tie for the Cape League lead, to right, extending the Brewster lead to four in the fourth.
Brewster tacked on two more runs on a Dunn RBI-single and a Mickey Gasper (Bryant) bases loaded walk to make it 6-1 Whitecaps.
Tribucher (0-2) took the loss for the Whitecaps, allowing two runs (one earned) in an inning and two-thirds.
The southpaw took over for Bradley Spooner (Saddleback CC) on the mound, who made his second start for Brewster and pitched well, despite the team’s defensive shortcomings. Spooner lasted four-plus innings, giving up six runs, although just two were earned and struck out three.
“I felt good coming into it,” Spooner said. “I just needed to control all four of my pitches and you can’t really control the errors. I just tried to go out there and do my best.”
Robert Broom (Mercer) finished the game on the mound for Brewster, surrendering only one hit in an inning and a third and lowering his season earned run average to a stellar 0.44 mark.
“I think pitching is doing well enough at this point to win games, we just need to focus on making the smaller plays,” Spooner said.
On the bump for the Firebirds was righty Taylor Sugg (UNC). The Tar Heel had trouble with his command and gave up five runs over three innings, including the two home runs to Taylor.
Sugg was succeeded by the trio of Riley Thompson (Louisville), Parker Kelly (Oregon), and Jake Wong (Grand Canyon), who combined for four innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits.
Kelly (1-1) earned his first win of the season for coach Kelly Nicholson's squad.
Shevchik was ejected in the top of the fourth inning after arguing with home plate umpire Tim Carey. Shevchik claimed that Firebirds outfielder Brandon Riley (UNC) swung at a pitch in the dirt on a hit-and-run play in which Passatempo swiped second, but Carey did not call it a strike and would not convene with the rest of the umpiring crew to discuss it further.
“Once in a while you get umpires that are overly sensitive,” Weber said. “Sometimes I try to remind them that if you don’t bait guys, it’s just the sound of one hand clapping. If you don’t say something, the guy won’t come back and say something. Too many of these guys that are out here can’t resist the temptation to bait someone and I think they baited Jamie and I think they ran him early.”
Carey also issued a warning to the rest of the Whitecaps’ bench, as well as the Firebirds dugout.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps finish up their three-game home stand on Friday against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks before the All-Star Game on Saturday.
“It would mean a lot [to win on Friday],” said Weber. “It would kind of stop this snowball effect. Hopefully, what we’d really like to do is play a clean game. No errors, get out early and take a lead as we did tonight and not give it back by playing a tight game defensively. I think more than anything else, that’s really what we’re looking for is one clean game.”
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Brewster Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik is typically one of the most optimistic and even-keeled managers you’ll find at any level.
Speaking after the Whitecaps’ 10-3 defeat at the hands of the Wareham Gatemen (15-15-1) on Wednesday, however, the frustration was evident in the coach’s voice.
“They’re not focused. They’re playing very complacent baseball,” the coach said. “It starts with the tempo in the first couple innings. You can tell. I knew right from inning number two that this was going to be a tough day. You can just feel it, and that goes with any game, hang around the dugout long enough and you can kind of figure out how the day is going to go based on the first two innings.”
Defensively, the game was a major struggle for the Whitecaps (15-16-1) as Brewster committed three errors in the game, all charged to second baseman Christian Molfetta (Stanford).
“We have got to come out and play good defense. That’s what we’ve been struggling with all year, really,” said Whitecaps catcher Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb). “We can’t give up three errors in a game like that, so that’s tough.”
“We were really low energy and set the bad tone right from the beginning, right from the first inning,” said Shevchik.
This put Brewster starter Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) in a tough spot, as the righty surrendered four runs over four innings, although just two were earned.
Molettiere left the game after Gatemen two-way star Tanner Dodson (California) singled home outfielder Steven Kwan (Oregon State) in the top of the fifth, extending Wareham’s lead to 3-0.
Shevchik turned to Drew Reveno (St. Louis), who was making his Whitecaps debut.
Wareham crossed their fourth run on a steal of home from Dodson, who scored from third on a Mickey Gasper (Bryant) throw down to second to try and catch Gatemen catcher Willie MacIver (Washington) stealing.
Wareham continued to pour it on with a pair of RBI-singles in the top of the seventh by Kyle Kasser (Oregon) and Tristan Pompey (Kentucky), extending the Gatemen lead to seven.
After Brewster scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the eighth on a Darius Hill (West Virginia) double down the right field line that scored Nick Dunn (Maryland), Wareham responded with four more runs in the top of the ninth.
Dodson homered to lead off the inning, then a Jarren Duran (Long Beach State) ground-rule double brought home Wareham’s eighth run before Blake Sabol (USC) delivered the final blow with a two-run single.
What is typically a stellar Brewster bullpen struggled on Wednesday. Reveno found success early, but wore as his outing progressed, eventually leaving with a final line of three innings, two runs allowed, one walk, and four strikeouts.
The right-hander was relieved by Stephen Jones (Samford), who gave up four runs over two innings on five hits and did not strike out a batter.
“They came in already behind the eight ball. It’s hard to come in out of the bullpen when there’s not a lot of effort behind you and they’re kicking the ball all over the place,” Shevchik said. ”That’s a tough position to be in. I know if I’m sitting back there I don’t want my name called. I don’t want to come in here and have to throw with guys kicking the ball around and no energy in the dugout. So it’s a really tough spot for a reliever to come in in that situation so it’s definitely not their fault.”
While Wareham crossed the plate seemingly at will, Brewster’s offense failed to get anything going against Gatemen pitching.
Wareham starter Mason Feole (UConn) held the Whitecaps to just one hit over five innings of work, before being relieved by a pair of all-stars in Justin Montgomery (California Baptist) and Griffin Roberts (Wake Forest).
The pair combined for three innings of relief, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out five.
After the newly re-activated Steele Walker (Oklahoma) singled with one out in the bottom of the first, Brewster was held without a baserunner until Dunn led off the eighth with a double.
The Whitecaps finished with just five hits on the day, with four of them and all three of their runs coming in the final two frames.
“There was no offense,” Shevchik said. “It was a bad feeling in the dugout today. It’s almost like some guys just didn’t want to be here. I don’t know if it’s just getting to be that time of the year where it’s getting towards the end of July where guys are tired or they’re broken down a little bit but it’s getting tough. “
“Some of these guys have to do some serious soul searching here and step it up a notch because I think it’s a big disservice to the ball club and their teammates too. We’ve got to be better in every facet of the game, that’s no question.”
Brewster got their final two runs on Kunz’s third home run of the season with one out in the ninth.
“He just hung me a first pitch slider that I took down and away and I was just cheating the fastball,” Kunz said. “I got my head out there and took a hack at it.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster takes on the first-place Orleans Firebirds in an Eastern Division matchup Thursday at Stony Brook Field.
“We’re not going to motivate to play against Orleans,” said Shevchik. “We’re going to try to do what we can to motivate them to stick around here the next two weeks of good baseball because that’s what matters. This organization has been too good to these kids and they’ve worked too hard for guys to start quitting on them and we’re not going to let that happen.”
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.