By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, M.A. – Hitless in his last 12 plate appearances, Marcos Castanon (UC Santa Barbara) was in the midst of a major funk. Enough of one for Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (8-5-1) head coach Scott Pickler to feel confident in intentionally walking Gage Workman (Arizona State) to load the bases with two outs to pitch to Castanon instead.
“I probably would have done the same thing based on what Marcos did in the first half of the game,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
“I was 100% insulted, so I just went in there and didn’t try to do too much,” Castanon said.
In the previous half inning, the Red Sox had just gained the momentum with a pair of runs of their own to cut the deficit to one. With a 3-2 score in the seventh inning, the Whitecaps were running out of chances to swing the game back in their favor.
So, on a 1-1 count, Castanon took that swing and capitalized on that chance by roping a double down the left field line to plate all three Brewster base runners. With the 6-2 score, Castanon’s double was the knock-out punch that delivered the Whitecaps (8-6-1) their second straight road victory by a final score of 7-4.
“I’ll take a streaky team,” Shevchik said. “As long as we’re mixing in the W’s and we’re not losing six and winning three then it’s a good summer.”
Following the loss to Wareham, Whitecaps hitting coach Ryan Smyth was not worried about the Brewster bats. Pointing at the recent layoff as a reason to the team’s offensive struggles at the time.
A trip to Fenway and two games later, Smyth’s trust in the abilities of his hitters has paid off.
The Whitecaps have 22 hits in their last two games, including three home runs and six different players with multi-hit games in that stretch.
After being hitless since June 16th, Tyler Gentry (Alabama) is now five for his last six with two walks and a run driven in, Luke Berryhill (South Carolina) has started his Whitecaps career hitting .500 and Ryan Bliss (Auburn) hit the first of back to back home runs before Brett Auerbach (Alabama) smashed the second to give the Whitecaps an extra two runs to a one run cushion on Saturday night.
And offense was not the only department lacking in the Whitecaps 11-0 loss at the hands of Wareham. On that Wednesday, Brewster’s pitching was arguably in more disarray that its offense.
Bullpen wise, the Whitecaps were admittedly poor against Yarmouth-Dennis. Surrendering four runs in four innings of work.
But, before the final four frames of Saturday night’s game, Brewster had only surrendered one run in 14 innings of work. Starting pitchers Mason Black (Lehigh) and Matthew Mikulski (Fordham) together have thrown 10.2 scoreless innings in Brewster’s last two games.
Combine those performances with some luck (Molfetta’s home run on Friday that was caught and then accidentally dropped over the center field fence in Bourne for a home run) and defense (Brett Auerbach’s (Alabama) leaping catch at the wall to rob Red Sox designated hitter Noah Campbell (South Carolina) a double) and the result is another Whitecaps winning streak.
Brewster bullpen coach Gene Bowles said it best.
“The ‘Caps are hot!”
Brewster hosts the Red Sox in the second leg of a home and home on Sunday. First pitch from Stony Brook Field is at 5 p.m.