By: Koki Riley
Ominously dark clouds lingered over Spillane Field prior to first pitch between the Brewster Whitecaps (0-1) and the Wareham Gatemen (1-0) prior to opening night of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Rain eventually fell by the latter innings and by the eighth frame the conditions were worse than your prototypical early June drizzle. And by that point the rain was a signifier of what kind of night it was the for the Whitecaps.
Two runs in the fourth inning from Wareham was enough for the defending champions in the Gatemen’s 3-1 opening night victory against the Brewster.
“We’re going to go through some downs a little bit here because we’re trying to feel each other out a little bit,” said Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik. “It’s going to take some time. We’re going to see some good pitching every day.”
Three quick frames to start the affair resulted in only one runner reaching base for either team. A walk from Wareham’s Sam Wezniak (California) followed by a triple from former Whitecaps infielder Darren Baker (California) put Wareham on the board first.
Baker later scored on a single from Mike Antico (St. John’s). The second tally for Wareham turned into the difference in the game in the eventual 3-1 victory for the Gatemen.
Brewster’s only tally of the night came in direct response to Wareham’s two run fourth when T.J. Collett’s (Kentucky) rocket into left-center field, that at first appeared to have gone over the fence, drove in Damon Dues (Wright State) from first base for the Whitecaps first, and so far, their only run of the season.
“I couldn’t tell if (the ball) went out in the fourth,” Shevchik said. “The bullpen said it definitely went out and that it bounced off the back wall and came back (into the field of play).”
The one bright spot on the night came from the Whitecaps pitching staff. A unit that despite a lack of control (allowing six walks on the night) struck out a combined 10 batters in eight innings of work.
“I was working fastball mostly to glove side, “Whitecaps starting pitcher Cam Tringali (South Carolina) said. “Working up in the zone in later counts was really working.”
But despite their best efforts, a solid performance from the Whitecaps young arms couldn’t overcome a Brewster offense that could only scratch across five hits all game.
So, on a night that began with the optimism that surrounds the opening night of a new season, the gloomy clouds and soggy conditions have temporarily brought Brewster down to a dimmer reality.
On Tuesday, the Whitecaps travel to Hyannis to play the Harbor Hawks at 6 p.m.