Brewster’s Playoff Hopes Come to a Close in 6-0 Loss to Harwich Following 8-5 Win Over Chatham Hours Earlier
By: Koki Riley
CHATHAM, M.A./HARWICH, M.A. – The day started out with so much hope.
An 8-5 comeback win over the Chatham Anglers (23-17-2) following Harwich’s (21-21-1) 8-5 defeat to the Orleans Firebirds put the Whitecaps (18-22-2) two wins away from overtaking the Mariners for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division.
Trailing 5-0 through three frames in game one against the Anglers, a thin bullpen and a lifeless offense could have been an easy excuse for the Whitecaps to roll over, give up or throw in the towel.
But they didn’t.
“They’re resilient,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the win over Chatham. “I’ve heard some things in the dugout today and I heard some things in the bullpen of guys wanting to step up and get ready to pitch and try to get in the playoffs.”
An 8-0 run in the final four frames was capped off by a bases clearing single from Duke Ellis (Texas). On a play that should have resulted as just a game tying single, Kendrick Calilao (Florida) allowed Ellis’s ground ball to go right under his glove and roll all the way to the right field wall. The error opened the door for Ellis and all three base runners to score on the miscue.
“We knew this game was a must (win),” Ellis said. “We’re just going to be gritty. We’re never going to give up.”
It was a high note on a day where the Whitecaps needed them the most. And to defeat the first place Anglers at their own ballpark in comeback fashion planted a seed of hope into every Brewster fans mind.
Could Brewster pull off the impossible and win three straight games in two days to make the postseason for a third consecutive summer?
The short answer was no.
As quickly as the hopes of a playoff push came to fruition, that optimism was dashed instantaneously in game two of the day when a six-run second inning from Harwich off of Brewster starter Daniel Harper (Kentucky) gave the Mariners a comfortable and insurmountable lead.
Combine the six-run frame with another spectacular outing from Mariners starter Jacob Palisch (Stanford) and closer Joe Boyle (Notre Dame) and Brewster’s defeat became inevitable in a game that was a must win for the Whitecaps.
“We ran out of time,” Shevchik said. “It doesn’t matter if you play 20 games or 100 games it always seems like it comes down to the end.
“What makes or breaks my summer out here is not winning a championship, it’s not wins or losses, it’s being around coaches and kids that really care and want to develop and play hard for you.”
With the loss Brewster is mathematically eliminated from making postseason, but that doesn’t mean the 2019 season is over for the Whitecaps.
Tomorrow, Brewster will play their final home game of the season against Harwich. First pitch from Stony Brook Field will be at 4:30 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – The stage was set to be a big day for the Brewster Whitecaps (17-21-2).
The New England Sports Network was in town to televise the game, host families were being honored prior to first pitch and most importantly Brewster’s opponent had almost nothing to play for.
Already locked into the final playoff spot in the West Division, the Bourne Braves (17-23-1) only motivation was playing the role of spoiler for the Whitecaps.
And boy did the Braves spoil Brewster’s party.
13 runs on 17 hits resulted in the Braves lopsided 13-3 victory over a Whitecaps team that’s now five points back of the Harwich Mariners with four games left to play in the regular season.
“Luckily, we still have four games to play but at this point you have to hope that Harwich loses a game,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
Monday night’s eventual slaughter started out as a compelling affair with both sides combining to score five runs in the first inning.
For Brewster, T.J. Collett (Kentucky) continued his stellar summer with a two RBI single to cut the Whitecaps deficit from three to one in the first. But after Collett’s single, Brewster couldn’t grab another hit until the fifth inning.
While the Whitecaps continued to scuffle at the plate, Brewster’s pitching staff wasn’t giving their offense any favors.
After scoring three runs in the first frame, Bourne added two more runs in the third on a pair of sacrifice fly outs from Cade Beloso (LSU) and Giovanni DiGiacomo (LSU) and eventually opened the flood gates in the fifth with three runs on three hits to give Bourne the 8-2 advantage.
“It was just an absolute disaster from start to finish,” Shevchik said. “If we don’t make the playoffs by a half a game or a game you can always go back and look at a game like this and figure out what we could have done better.”
To lose a game this lopsided with the season on the line is a new low in what has been a summer filled with ups and downs for the Whitecaps.
All it takes for the Whitecaps is one loss and a Harwich win and Brewster’s season will officially end on Thursday.
For tomorrow, the Whitecaps will play two seven-inning road games. First at 1 p.m. Brewster head to Veterans Field to play Chatham. Then, at 6:30 the Whitecaps face off against Harwich from Whitehouse Field.
“It does feel like a loss.” Were the words of the Brewster Whitecaps manager, Jamie Shevchik, after his team tied the Orleans Firebirds on Sunday night.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – Down 2-1 midway through the fifth inning of game number two of a double header the Brewster Whitecaps (17-20-1) were on the verge of a disastrous Saturday afternoon.
Two losses and a Harwich win would place head coach Jamie Shevchik’s team six points behind the fourth place Mariners with just six games remaining in the regular season. And after blowing a 3-0 lead in the first game of the double header, Brewster couldn’t afford to finish Saturday empty handed.
“It (the double header) could have been a lot different,” Shevchik said.
But once Orleans overtook the lead in the fifth, Brewster responded immediately with an RBI single from Brett Auerbach that tied the game at two’s.
A sacrifice fly from Jesse Franklin (Michigan) gave Brewster the lead before Gage Workman’s (Arizona State) single doubled the Whitecaps advantage to two. An error from David Avitia (Grand Canyon) behind the plate from Orleans stretched the Whitecaps lead to three in what became a four run, nine batter and potentially season saving inning for Brewster.
“It’s kind of the tale we’ve seen all year long,” Shevchik said. “The bats are dead and all of a sudden we start getting guys on base. And that’s a good sign.”
“I think our coaches do a good job at keeping everyone focused,” Franklin said. “I think some guys are figuring out their swings and figuring out how to pitch out here toward the end (of the season).”
When the final out was recorded, Brewster escaped game two of the double header with a 7-3 victory, but the afternoon could have been an even sweeter.
“I thought we squandered an opportunity to win a game in the first game. We single handedly threw that game away,” Shevchik said.
In the Whitecaps 4-3 defeat to the Firebirds in Game 1, half of Orleans’ runs in Game 1 came across on Brewster mistakes.
First, Christian Molfetta’s (Stanford) inability to corral a ball on strike three allowed Zach Daniels (Tennessee) to reach first base and extend the inning enough for Zach Britton’s (Louisville) two-run home run.
Then two frames later and the score tied at three, Molfetta’s ill-advised pick-off throw to first base allowed Shay Whitcomb (UC San Diego) to score from third to give Orleans the go ahead run that eventually made the difference in the 4-3 win.
“If you were going to ask me today I’d rather lose the first game and win the second one and ride the momentum of a win into tomorrow,” Shevchik said.
Now two points back of fourth place Harwich, Brewster is a Sunday night win in Orleans away from winning three of their last four contests. Keep in mind that first pitch from Eldredge Park is at 5:30 p.m. and not 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
HYANNIS, M.A. – Prior to the start of the Cape League season, Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik had very specific plan in recruiting hitters for the summer of 2019.
“We’re convinced that the two-run home run, the three-run home run wins you a lot of baseball games,” Shevchik said. “That’s kind of the way we recruited this year with big, physical string kids that can hit the ball a long way.”
And on Friday night from McKeon Park, that’s exactly what the Whitecaps (16-19-1) did.
Four home runs from Jesse Franklin (Michigan), Tyler Gentry (Alabama), Gage Workman (Arizona State) and Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) that drove in seven of the Whitecaps eight runs delivered Brewster’s eventual 8-1 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (7-29-1).
“If you go back and look at most of our wins there’s probably a home run mixed in there somewhere,” Shevchik said. “When you hit 29-30 home runs (actually 34) in the season you’re built off that. So, when you don’t get it you kind of struggle.”
Brewster’s long bombs catapulted the Whitecaps ahead of the Cotuit Kettleers for the top spot of the home run leader board. After tonight, Brewster also leads the Cape in slugging percentage and on base plus slugging percentage.
They may be the kings of the big fly, but the main reason that’s paved the way for the team’s recent success has been the Whitecaps pitching staff.
Over their last two games, Brewster’s pitching has allowed just one run. Their starting pitchers, Mason Black (Lehigh) on Wednesday and Stevie Emmanuels (Washington) on Friday, are on a 9.1 inning scoreless streak dating back to the first inning of Wednesday’s game.
Good pitching and the long ball; the two staples of the Whitecaps success in 2019.
“We have to play a complete game for us to get a good win,” Shevchik said. “We did that today. This is probably one of the better played games we’ve played all year.”
Now down just four points to the Mariners after their 4-4 tie with Y-D, the Whitecaps enter the final eight games of the season with a legitimate chance of sneaking into the postseason.
On Saturday, Brewster heads back home to play a double header against a Firebirds team that is only six points ahead of the Whitecaps in the divisional standings. The first pitch for game one of the two game set is at 2 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – There haven’t been too many pitching duels for the Brewster Whitecaps (15-19-1) this season.
With just eight combined hits in six and a half frames, Wednesday night’s ballgame against the Cotuit Kettleers (17-15-4) was played at an oddly fast and furious pace.
“The walks didn’t hurt us, the hit batsmen didn’t come around and score,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “If it wasn’t for good starting pitching we would have started to heat up the bats down a couple runs.”
But after a lead-off single in the top of the seventh, up to the plate came T.J. Collett (Kentucky).
Tied for second in the Cape League in home runs, Collett’s ability to drive in runs has kept the Whitecaps within the playoff race in the Eastern Division.
So, after falling behind in the count to Cotuit reliever Richard Brereton (Emory) Collett did what he does best. Hit dingers.
The Indiana natives opposite field two-run bomb gave Brewster the lead and placed the first runs of the game for either side in the Whitecaps eventual 3-0 win over the Kettleers.
“Once I learned that I can hit a home run in any part of the field it really just allowed me to wait on the ball to get to me and then still be able to hit for power the other way,” Collett said.
Besides hitting four batters in five plus innings of work, Mason Black (Lehigh) was superb with no runs allowed and five strikeouts against Cotuit’s lineup.
And his counterpart Trey Holland (Sewanee South) was arguably even better, surrendering just four hits while striking out seven Whitecaps in five scoreless frames.
But the most impressive outing of the night came from Brewster reliever Sean Fisher (Maryland) who in four innings pitched allowed just one hit while striking out four Kettleers.
The lefties earned run average is now at a microscopic 1.26 in 21.1 innings thrown this summer.
“Arguably our two best arms on this team came in and pitched today,” Shevchik said. “If I can use those two guys on Friday and Saturday and Sunday we’ve got a shot to get into the playoffs.”
With Harwich winning the first game of a two-game double header, the Whitecaps deficit in the division will at the very least remain at three points.
Brewster has tomorrow off but on Friday head to Hyannis to face off against the Harbor Hawks. First pitch is at 6:00 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – In 2019 there has been no enemy more damaging to the Brewster Whitecaps (14-19-1) than themselves.
The Whitecaps ability to create their own trouble was put on full display in the top of the third when two walks, two errors and two hit batsmen opened the door for a four-run inning in Falmouth’s (19-12-1) eventual 4-1 victory at Stony Brook Field on Monday night.
“We walked a lot of guys, we hit a bunch of guys and we made it easy for Falmouth to score runs,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the loss. “If you think about it, they didn’t hit the ball all over the field.
“We threw six scoreless innings today from our pitchers.”
The first two runs in Falmouth’s third frame scored against Brewster starting pitcher Connor Shamblin (Alabama) came without a hit. A walk to Hayden Cantrelle (Louisiana Lafayette) was followed up by a poor throw to second base from Brewster catcher Justin Vought (Maryland. The play granted Cantrelle both second and third base on the stolen base attempt.
Then, a second consecutive walk, this time to Blake Dunn (Western Michigan), and another errant throw to second base from Vought on the stolen base attempt allowed Cantrelle to score easily from third and allowed Dunn to reach third base.
Next, a single from Falmouth’s Trei Cruz (Rice) delivered Falmouth’s second run of the ballgame. But then another hit batter, Brewster’s second of the inning, loaded up the bases for Falmouth with one out.
A strikeout to Baron Radcliffe (Georgia Tech) put Jackson Coutts (Rhode Island) at the plate. Swinging at the first pitch he saw, Coutts’s base hit plated two more Commodores and all of a sudden, the Whitecaps trailed by four in an inning that had two hits.
“The intensity and the flow of the game starts from the beginning. It starts with your starting pitcher,” Shevchik said.
The most frustrating part of the night for Brewster fans may be the fact that Shamblin just nine days prior had thrown a six innings while allowing just one earned run against the same Commodores team.
But on Monday night, Shamblin’s night was over through three frames as the right hander walked three and surrendered five hits.
With Harwich not playing on due to inclement weather, Monday night was the perfect opportunity for the Whitecaps to take back two points from the Mariners in the divisional race.
But instead, Brewster couldn’t stop tripping over themselves.
“We have ten days left,” Shevchik said. “We need to raise the intensity a little bit.”
The Whitecaps head to Veterans Field on Tuesday night as they face off against Chatham. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
ORLEANS, M.A. – An 18-year-old at the time, Gage Workman (Arizona State) was getting overpowered by Cape League pitching.
Finishing the season with a .163 batting average and a .240 on base percentage, Workman looked lost at the plate, striking out more often than he reached on base for the summer.
Flash forward a year later and Workman is the Co-MVP for the East All-Stars in the 2019 Cape League All-Star game. The Arizona native’s inside the ballpark home run and leadoff double in the ninth inning propelled the East All-Stars to a 6-5 walk off win from Eldredge Park in Orleans.
“I thought he was going to catch it honestly,” Workman said of the home run. “It felt really good coming off the bat.”
For Workman, Sunday night’s offensive explosion showed how far the Sun Devils infielder has come over the last year. Still just 19 years of age, Workman’s four triples leads the entire Cape League.
And for as impressive as Workman was on the night, his two-hit performance was just the tip of the iceberg on the night for Brewster.
Workman, Brett Auerbach (Alabama), T.J. Collett (Kentucky) and Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) combined to go 5-9 with four runs batted in the All-Star Game. And to cap it all off it was Auerbach’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning that concluded an unforgettable night for the Whitecaps.
“Everyone was deserving. Everyone had a great time,” Auerbach said. “It was really fun.”
Sharing the East All-Star MVP award with Workman, Auerbach’s perfect 3-3 night at the plate showed off the catcher’s consistent approach in the batter’s box.
In fact, the Brewster catcher hasn’t gone hitless in a game since July 4th.
“It just goes back to the way we play regular season games,” Auerbach said. “We’re just loose and we just have a bunch of fun.”
Throughout the night Brewster’s All-Star representatives had fun, embraced the moment and relished at the opportunity of playing in front of over 5,000 fans at Eldredge Park.
The starting pitcher for the East All-Stars, Brewster’s Mason Black (Lehigh) got excited enough to the point where he literally couldn’t wait to get on the mound.
“I jumped out (of the bullpen) like five or six minutes early,” Black said. “I was just ready to get out there and onto the mound.”
Brewster left hander Matt Mikulski (Fordham) found himself nervous before his appearance in the seventh. But nevertheless, found a rhythm on the mound in a rare relief appearance.
“I had a lot of fun,” Mikulski said. “I (struck out) two guys in one inning. It felt good to have Gage (Workman) and Tyler (Hardman) behind me.”
But prior to Auerbach’s heroics, Mikulski’s and Black’s scoreless frames and the start of the ballgame was the event that many Whitecaps fans were looking forward to the most, the Home Run Derby.
Representing the Whitecaps in the Derby was Hardman and Collett. The top sluggers on a Whitecaps team that is second on the Cape in long bombs, both Hardman and Collett reached the second and final round of the derby with relative ease.
After Harwich’s Niko Kavadas (Notre Dame) finished his final round of the Derby a home run shy of Collett’s final round total of six, it was a guarantee that one of Brewster’s two participants in the contest would finish on top.
But in the end, it was Hardman in an 11 home run championship winning performance that captured the Home Run Derby crown.
“It was really weird constantly trying to hit a home run,” Hardman said. “It was a lot of fun especially with my grandparents in town.”
“I just really enjoy doing this no matter if I come in last place or first place,” Collett said. “It was just fun watching these guys hit nukes.”
Despite the fact that there were no points on the line in Orleans on Sunday night, Brewster’s incredible performance on the Cape League’s grandest stage was the highlight of what has so far been, at times, a frustrating summer for the Whitecaps.
Three points back of Harwich for the final playoff spot in the East, Sunday night was the confidence boost this Brewster team needed before the final week and a half of the Cape League season.
“We’ll be fine,” Workman said. “We’ll be in the playoffs.”
By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, M.A. – Up 5-3 with two outs to go, the Brewster Whitecaps (14-18-1) were moments away from their second straight victory and their fourth win of the year over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (19-13-2). With the reliable Billy McKay (UCF) on the mound, it was as if the fat lady had already started singing.
But then a pinch-hit solo home run from Erik Tolman (Arizona State) made it a 5-4 game. And then Noah Cardenas’s (UCLA) double put the tying run at second base.
All of a sudden, the Whitecaps were in a world of trouble.
Cardenas’s pinch runner, Joseph Hall (Clemson), was eventually thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice. But an infield single from Bradlee Beesley (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) kept the game in balance with two on and two out for the All-Star Austin Wells (Arizona).
Wells’s single through the hole in short drew a throw to home from Brett Auerbach (Alabama). But Auerbach’s throw to home plate was just enough off line to allow Wyatt Young (Pepperdine) to score from second base to tie the game at five.
“It looked like he never touched the plate,” Whitecaps hitting coach Ryan Smyth said. “The umpire was pretty close. It was his call to make not ours.”
An intentional walk to Noah Campbell (South Carolina) set up a bases loaded, two out situation for Red Sox pinch hitter Andrew Eyster (South Carolina).
Five pitches later, Eyster’s hard hit ground ball scored the game winning run. Just like that, the Whitecaps had surrendered three runs in the drop of a hat.
“They know the position we are in. They know what every game means for us,” Smyth said. “They’re playing extremely hard.”
With the loss, the Whitecaps drop back to four games under .500 and lose a chance at gaining ground in the Eastern Division after Harwich’s 6-4 defeat to Chatham.
Brewster has played better baseball in recent days. The offense has scored 14 runs in that stretch of time and, with the exception of Saturday night’s ninth inning, the pitching has kept the Whitecaps within striking distance.
Tomorrow night is the All-Star game from Eldredge Park in Orleans, so Brewster’s next game is at Stony Brook Field on Monday against the Falmouth Commodores. First pitch will be at 5 p.m.
By: Frankie Vernouski
BREWSTER, M.A.—Dangerously high temperatures are expected to hit the Cape this weekend, but the heat hit early Friday night with an explosive Whitecaps offense.
Brewster (14-17-1) lost four games in-a-row and fell into last place in the East. A 9-1 victory over the division leading Chatham Anglers (18-12-2) felt exactly like what the doctor ordered.
Coach Jamie Shevchik thought his Caps team could not have played much better.
“We played pretty much as close to a complete game as you can get,” Shevchik said.
Though the offense was stellar with nine runs and ten hits, Brewster was setup to win with Tyler Follis’ (Louisiana Tech) performance.
“[Follis] was awesome,” Shevchik said. “He kept us in it. He just kept giving us a chance.”
A walk and a single created traffic in the first, but it stopped there. Follis faced the minimum in innings three through five.
His final line featured five strikeouts, a walk, five hits and a run over 5 2/3. The junior’s success went to a simple game plan.
“Just throw strikes,” Follis said. “You’ve got to get ahead of a team like this.”
The Whitecaps offense picked up the rest of the tab by the fourth inning. Back-to-back doubles from Tyler Gentry (Alabama) and T.J. Collett (Kentucky) put the first run on the board, and the scuffling Caps did not look back from there.
Shevchik considered giving Gentry the night off, but the Brewster outfielder had no interest. His double was his tenth on the year and leads the league.
Shevchik said everyone wanted to go out there and get a win.
“To see these guys hanging in there and not wanting to come out of the lineup and keep grinding it out is really impressive to watch, and that’s what makes the summer enjoyable,” Shevchik said.
The line of the game goes to Gage Workman (Arizona State). After an RBI and 3-4 performance against Harwich Wednesday, Workman boasted a 4-5 night with three RBIs, two runs and his league-leading fourth triple of the season.
While the Caps still sit below the Mariners by three points in last place, the four-game skid is over.
Brewster is 3-2 against Yarmouth-Dennis this year and closes out the week before the All-Star Game with a 5:00 game against the Red Sox at Red Wilson Field Saturday.