By: Koki Riley
HARWICH, M.A. – On a night known for its fireworks, the Brewster Whitecaps (9-9-1) got an offensive explosion from first basemen Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma).
A solo shot in the sixth inning and a three-run bomb in the seventh brought the Whitecaps back from a dire 4-0 fifth frame deficit to the Harwich Mariners (8-11) at Whitehouse Field.
And although Hardman was ready to bring the festivities to the ballpark on Thursday night, it was his teammates that couldn’t bring any extra punch to the 4thof July party in the Whitecaps 6-4 defeat in Harwich.
The theme of the night: two out hitting. The Mariners offense produced five of their six runs on the night via the two-out RBI hit. The most painful of the bunch coming in the bottom of the seventh inning when a two-run single from Christian Fedko (Connecticut) off of Brewster reliever Stevie Emmanuels (Washington) not only gave Harwich the two-run lead, but also ruined the Whitecaps momentum from Hardman’s three run homer from the prior half inning.
“We just made a couple mistakes from the pitching standpoint that cost us,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
And yes, pitching wise Brewster was not sharp. Mason Black (Lehigh) surrendering three earned runs in five innings pitched after not allowing a run all season was strange. But, oddly enough, what seemed to cripple the Whitecaps the most was the lack of offensive production Brewster had despite of how hard they were hitting the ball.
“We hit a lot of hard balls,” Shevchik said. “At a lot of other parks the score is drastically different today. This is probably the one park in the entire Cape that plays true to its size.”
“We had a lot of loud outs tonight,” Hardman said. “I think the hitting was fine, so I think we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
The single play that most accurately captured the Whitecaps night offensively came in the eighth inning. Brewster was staging a second comeback with runners at first and second base with two outs. The man at the plate, Tyler Gentry (Alabama), drilled a line drive destined for extra bases and a pair of Whitecaps runs. Instead, the line shot was caught in diving fashion by Mariners left fielder Max Marusak (Texas Tech).
It was a sour way to end a night known for fireworks, carnivals and fun. But, it doesn’t seem as if Shevchik’s team is concerned by the outcome.
“We’ll be alright,” Shevchik said.