Brewster’s Playoff Hopes Come to a Close in 6-0 Loss to Harwich Following 8-5 Win Over Chatham Hours Earlier
By: Koki Riley
CHATHAM, M.A./HARWICH, M.A. – The day started out with so much hope.
An 8-5 comeback win over the Chatham Anglers (23-17-2) following Harwich’s (21-21-1) 8-5 defeat to the Orleans Firebirds put the Whitecaps (18-22-2) two wins away from overtaking the Mariners for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division.
Trailing 5-0 through three frames in game one against the Anglers, a thin bullpen and a lifeless offense could have been an easy excuse for the Whitecaps to roll over, give up or throw in the towel.
But they didn’t.
“They’re resilient,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the win over Chatham. “I’ve heard some things in the dugout today and I heard some things in the bullpen of guys wanting to step up and get ready to pitch and try to get in the playoffs.”
An 8-0 run in the final four frames was capped off by a bases clearing single from Duke Ellis (Texas). On a play that should have resulted as just a game tying single, Kendrick Calilao (Florida) allowed Ellis’s ground ball to go right under his glove and roll all the way to the right field wall. The error opened the door for Ellis and all three base runners to score on the miscue.
“We knew this game was a must (win),” Ellis said. “We’re just going to be gritty. We’re never going to give up.”
It was a high note on a day where the Whitecaps needed them the most. And to defeat the first place Anglers at their own ballpark in comeback fashion planted a seed of hope into every Brewster fans mind.
Could Brewster pull off the impossible and win three straight games in two days to make the postseason for a third consecutive summer?
The short answer was no.
As quickly as the hopes of a playoff push came to fruition, that optimism was dashed instantaneously in game two of the day when a six-run second inning from Harwich off of Brewster starter Daniel Harper (Kentucky) gave the Mariners a comfortable and insurmountable lead.
Combine the six-run frame with another spectacular outing from Mariners starter Jacob Palisch (Stanford) and closer Joe Boyle (Notre Dame) and Brewster’s defeat became inevitable in a game that was a must win for the Whitecaps.
“We ran out of time,” Shevchik said. “It doesn’t matter if you play 20 games or 100 games it always seems like it comes down to the end.
“What makes or breaks my summer out here is not winning a championship, it’s not wins or losses, it’s being around coaches and kids that really care and want to develop and play hard for you.”
With the loss Brewster is mathematically eliminated from making postseason, but that doesn’t mean the 2019 season is over for the Whitecaps.
Tomorrow, Brewster will play their final home game of the season against Harwich. First pitch from Stony Brook Field will be at 4:30 p.m.