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.