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.