By: Koki Riley
Blistering winds, bobbled ground balls and top of the line pitching defined a wacky Saturday evening from Eldredge Park for the Brewster Whitecaps (1-3) and Orleans Firebirds (2-2-1).
But despite the cold breeze and error filled night, the Whitecaps escaped Orleans with their first victory of the season. A 2-1 win over a Firebirds squad that defeated Brewster earlier in the week on Wednesday.
“I’ve never been so nervous for a game that’s being played in the beginning of June,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the win. “There was just a lot of pressure on us for the first win.”
For Brewster, the burden of being winless on the season was finally alleviated in large part thanks to a brilliant performance on the mound from Chandler Jozwiak (Texas A&M).
Arriving to Brewster on Wednesday, Jozwiak threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one walk in his first career appearance with the Whitecaps. On a night where the offense could only muster six hits, it was Jozwiak’s outing that proved to be exact antidote to the Whitecaps’ three-game losing streak.
“It’s safe to say that Jozwiak is going to be in the rotation,” Shevchik said.
“Coming out here and helping the team win is the most important thing (for me),” Jozwiak said. “(Orleans) made me battle tonight, it was tough.”
And despite scoring only two runs on the night, the Whitecaps offense proved to be timely.
After taking an initial 1-0 lead, Brewster surrendered the advantage with two costly errors in the bottom of the seventh. But the Whitecaps showed resiliency in the very next half inning when a double from Gage Workman (Arizona State) and a single from T.J. Collett (Kentucky) scored Workman to give Brewster the lead again at 2-1.
“We had a meeting before the game and it was just about being a little bit more aggressive and having fun,” Shevchik said. “We just got everybody together and wanted to know about everyone’s approaches to learn a little bit more from everybody.
“It was more about taking good hard contact swings. I think we were giving up at bats early in the counts up until today.”
A scoreless eighth and ninth inning from William McKay (Central Florida) and Carson Coleman (Kentucky) sealed the deal for a Whitecaps staff that did not allow an earned run on the night.
Now Brewster are finally winners. It had to happen at some point, right?
The Whitecaps host the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in a Sunday double header from Stony Brook Field. The first game of the two-game set starts at 2 p.m.