By: Koki Riley
ORLEANS, M.A. – Before Chance Huff (Vanderbilt) even got the chance to hop on the mound for his first start as a Whitecap, Brewster (11-11-1) had a 2-0 lead over the Orleans Firebirds (12-10-2). A nice start to a game of significant importance for a Whitecaps team stuck in the muck of a tight Eastern Divisional race.
Already working from ahead, Huff walked the leadoff batter Jacob Hurtubise (Army), surrendered a double to Zach Britton (Louisville) and then, after retiring the next two batters, plunked Trevin Esquerra (Loyola Marymount) and Rob Emery (San Francisco) with separate pitches to load the bases for Tanner Murray (UC Davis).
With a run already allowed, Murray’s single off of Huff evaporated Brewster’s early 2-0 lead. Making the score 3-2 after a long first inning for both sides.
The Firebirds grabbed that advantage on the scoreboard and ran with it. Running Huff out of the game after just 1.1 innings pitched and eventually defeating the Whitecaps 6-3 from Eldredge Park.
“We didn’t have much of a chance,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “Our starting pitcher didn’t give us a whole lot to work with at the beginning. But to his credit, he hasn’t pitched against live hitters in awhile.”
Brewster’s most recent pitching addition walked four batters, hit three batters with pitches and gave up four earned runs despite allowing just two hits in his short-lived start.
And although it was short-lived stint from a game length perspective, Huffs deliberate approach and high walk total allowed the affair in Orleans to grind down to a near standstill.
When the third inning concluded, the game had already lasted about an hour and 30 minutes. In comparison, the next six innings were just under an hour and a half.
But why the sea change in game pace? A couple things.
One, the Whitecaps offense went silent after the third frame, recording just two hits and striking out eight times in six innings off of Orleans left hander Isaac Esqueda (USC).
Esqueda pitched all six innings in relief for the Firebirds and only ran into trouble once in the seventh inning.
“We had opportunities to score runs but couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Shevchik said. “Our pitchers have got to do a better job of, when we score runs, of going out there and getting us a shutout inning.”
Two, Brewster’s bullpen was quite solid on the night despite having to be called upon in the second inning. Reliever Stevie Emmanuels (Washington) had a tough third inning, but escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second and eventually settled down to allow no runs in his last two frames.
Tyler Follis (Louisiana Tech) was then nearly unhittable in the following three frames after Emmanuels.
Even at .500, the Whitecaps are in last place in the Eastern Division with 23 points at about the half way mark on the regular season.
Granted, they’ve played two less games than the Harwich Mariners, who are ahead in the standings despite having more losses than wins, but the Mariners have played excellent baseball as of late after winning their last two games.
So, if Brewster wants a good shot at making the postseason for the third consecutive year, snatching winnable games against an Eastern divisional foe like Orleans will need to become more of a necessity and less of a bonus.
The Whitecaps head back home on Wednesday evening as they take on Y-D. First pitch from Stony Brook Field will be at 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
CHATHAM, M.A, - Chandler Jozwiak (Texas A&M) knows how to finish with style.
In his final start in the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Brewster Whitecaps (11-10-1) lefty allowed no runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work against a Chatham Anglers (14-8-1) team that owns the fourth most runs and has the best run differential in the Cape League.
Jozwiak now ends his Whitecaps career with a 1.74 earned run average in 20.2 innings pitched. A great summer that finished off quieting arguably the best team on the Cape in their own ball park.
“To shut down a Chatham lineup that is loaded from top to bottom you have to have good pitching,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “Jozwiak was great.”
“The defense behind me was amazing. The outfield made some great plays,” Jozwiak said.
1.2 scoreless frames from Billy McKay (UCF) and another 2.1 scoreless innings to finish off the game from Seth Lonsway (Ohio State) made for a remarkable bounce back performance from a Whitecaps bullpen that had been reeling in recent games.
Blowing a three-run lead on Saturday against Falmouth and being unable to maintain a tied score in Harwich on Thursday featured a Brewster pen that seemed unreliable following a hot start to the season.
“Billy did his job and Seth pitched his butt off,” Shevchik said. “Today was a pretty good effort from everybody.”
Offensively it wasn’t the prettiest of performances.
The Whitecaps mustered seven hits but also struck out 13 times against Chatham pitching.
But all the Brewster pitching staff needed on Sunday night were two big swings of the bat from Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) and T.J. Collett (Kentucky).
Hardman’s two run shot in the fifth gave the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead despite not having a hit until that very frame. Collett’s solo shot then padded the lead for a Brewster team that took total control of the game from the fifth inning on.
“The pitching is so good, sometimes you’ve got to get lucky with a ball that goes over the fence,” Shevchik said. “That’s exactly what won us the game today.”
Brewster has Monday off but on Tuesday head to Orleans to face off against the Firebirds at 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – At 4-6 in their last 10 games the Brewster Whitecaps (10-10-1) are barely treading above water in the Eastern Division.
Entering Saturday night’s contest with a five-point advantage over the Harwich Mariners, Brewster at the very least needed a win in order to stay at least three points up on the last place Mariners.
But instead, Harwich swept the Wareham Gatemen to get to 10 wins on the season and the Whitecaps fell in their matchup against the Falmouth Commodores (10-8-1).
And because of that, Brewster now sits atop Harwich for the last spot in the playoffs by just a point. A lone tie against the Chatham Anglers separating Brewster from the Mariners in the division.
The Whitecaps had their chance to maintain some separation over their divisional rivals. A 3-0 lead through five innings gave Brewster a sense of confidence heading into the ladder half of the game.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Matthew Mikulski (Fordham) had only surrendered a hit in five innings of work. And a slow start from the offense eventually turned into a productive bottom of the fifth where Brewster scored three runs on two singles and two errors from Falmouth shortstop Trei Cruz (Rice).
"He was very good," Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. "He deserved the win."
And then it all changed on one swing of the bat.
A three-run home run from Troy Claunch (Oregon State) tied the score in a game where the Commodores had just one hit in the prior five frames.
"Mikulski pitched good enough to win," Shevchik said. "Very rarely do you go five innings with one hit and leave the game with a three run lead and not get the win."
Another run in the seventh then came on an RBI single from Steven Moretto (Sacramento State) and two scoreless innings later, Brewster had been defeated in a game that seemed to be firmly in the Whitecaps grasp.
The Whitecaps head over to Chatham on Sunday night. First pitch from Veterans Field is at 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – 20 runs, 18 hits, five errors and 10 unearned runs.
Those were the combined outputs of the Brewster Whitecaps (10-9-1) and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (12-7-1) in Friday evenings wild affair from Stony Brook Field in Brewster.
And although the Whitecaps came out on top with the 13-7 victory, Brewster didn’t play a flawless game. Allowing five unearned runs in the sixth, nearly blowing an 8-2 lead in the middle innings and walking six batters within the first four frames created, at times, a sloppy game.
But when it came down to it, the Whitecaps offense was too great for any of their mistakes to matter.
“If the bats are hot it gives a little breathing room for our pitching staff,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “We weren’t perfect by any means today. Connor Shamblin (Alabama) didn’t have his greatest stuff. Jimmy Ramsey (Kentucky) didn’t have his greatest stuff. But when you put up 13 runs it makes it a lot easier.”
Brewster’s offensive explosion on the night didn’t happen by accident. Prior to the game, the Coach Shevchik made a couple of adjustments to the Whitecaps lineup that in turn lit the spark that grew into the raging fire that became Brewster’s offense on Friday night.
First, Gage Workman (Arizona State) was moved down to the No.9 spot in the order in an attempt for the switch hitter to see more fastballs against the lefty Erik Tolman (Arizona State). Workman didn’t see many fastballs from his college teammate, but still produced with three hits, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
“Y-D is known for more off-speed (pitches),” Workman said. “I felt like I was taking good at bats before but things weren’t falling but they fell today.”
Second, Christian Molfetta (Stanford) was inserted into the Brewster lineup behind the plate over fellow catchers, and teammates, Justin Vought (Maryland), Luke Berryhill (South Carolina) and Josh Crouch (Central Florida).
The senior and third year Whitecaps veteran grabbed his chance and ran with it, hitting a two-run home run, a two RBI double and finished the night with a total of five runs driven in on the night.
After hitting under .140 last season with zero homers and two runs batted in, Molfetta’s batting average after his first 15 at bats this season is at .400 with two home runs and seven runs batted in.
“Last year I was playing hurt and I was thinking too much about outside stuff, whether it was scouts, the draft or earning a spot at school,” Molfetta said. “This year, I’m just kind of letting it loose and playing.”
Combined with the two hit performances of Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) and T.J. Collett (Kentucky) and the Whitecaps debut of Duke Ellis (Texas), Brewster’s offense was nearly unstoppable on Friday night.
Considering how hard the Whitecaps had hit the ball the previous night, it’s safe to assume that Friday’s offensive performance was more substance than chance.
Brewster will stay home on Saturday night as Falmouth comes to town. First pitch from Stony Brook Field is at 5 p.m.
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.
By Roy Bowler
Tyler Gentry (University of Alabama) has been swinging a hot bat lately. The junior right fielder from Arlington, Tennessee has raised his average by .129 points in the last five games, going 9 for 17 with two doubles, a triple, a homerun, and five RBI. Gentry admitted that it feels good to be playing this well, and his current approach is: “trying to go out and have fun”.
Gentry carried his hot hitting into tonight’s critical mid-season matchup against the Harwich Mariners, a game already with plenty of implications on the standings. In the first inning, Gentry smacked a two-run double to give the Whitecaps a 3-0 lead, after a sacrifice fly by Marcos Castonon (UC Santa Barbara). In the third, Brewster scored again when Brett Auerbach (University of Alabama) launched his second homer of the year, over the fence in left.
Cam Tringali (University of South Carolina) got the start, and was solid again for Brewster, but had to battle through some shaky defense. Two errors led to the first two Harwich runs, and then Tringali himself misplayed a ball that allowed Harwich to tie the game at four in the fourth. All four runs he allowed were unearned.
Kurt Wilson (Texas Tech) picked a great time for his first Whitecap hit, when in the fourth, he smoked an RBI double to left field, giving the Whitecaps the lead back, a lead they would not relinquish.
After Tringali recorded the first two outs of the fifth, Brewster turned to the bullpen and Seth Lonsway (Ohio State) to get them through the rest of the game. The bullpen did exactly that, Lonsway was terrific over 2.1 hitless innings pitched, and Billy McKay (University of Central Florida) worked an easy 1-2-3 inning in the eight.
The Whitecaps added some insurance when, none other than, Tyler Gentry clubbed a two-run opposite field homer to give Brewster a 7-4 lead.
The Caps called on Sean Fisher (University of Maryland) to close the game in the ninth, and after bringing the go ahead run to the plate, Fisher settled in and retired Harwich,earning Brewster their ninth win of the season.
After the game, Whitecap manager Jamie Shevchik said he was pleased with his team’s ability to “score in multiple innings” and hold their “composure in some big innings they (Harwich) had, and they (Brewster) were able to continue to score and let Harwich fight from behind, and that’s not a comfortable position to be in.”
The win tonight was a critical one for Brewster, a team fighting off Harwich for a playoff spot. The two teams meet again tomorrow at Whitehouse Field in Harwich. With a win Brewster can pull seven points ahead of the Mariners for the final playoff spot in the East Division.
By: Koki Riley
FALMOUTH, M.A. – It was 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning between the Brewster Whitecaps (8-8-1) and the Falmouth Commodores (6-7-1). The Whitecaps had blown a 3-0 first inning lead, but had finally broken through offensively in the first after Marcos Castanon’s (UC Santa Barbara) three-run homer.
But then disaster struck.
Defensive miscues, a plethora of base hits and poor Whitecaps pitching resulted in nine Commodores runs that resulted in a 12-3 scored by the start of the sixth inning.
“Our pitchers were not good enough against their hitters,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the loss. “We just didn’t have anything to get them out.
“Those two-innings buried us.”
Daniel Harper (Kentucky) was ineffective in his second start as a Whitecap, allowing three earned runs in 3.1 innings pitched, but Harper’s struggles were compounded even further into the ground by Sean Hunley (Tennessee).
In his first relief appearance for Brewster, the big righty allowed five runs (three earned) in 0.2 innings pitched. This included six hits in the eight batters that the Tennessee native faced.
In his time with Brewster, Hunley has never been able to find his footing on the Cape. In 7.2 innings pitched, Hunley has surrendered seven earned runs and 16 hits, resulting in a. 8.21 earned run average this season.
His move to the bullpen from the rotation was inevitable, but, so far, the switch has only made matters worse for Hunley.
“He’s got to do a better job at holding runners and minimizing the damage,” Shevchik said. “I think that goes with a handful of our guys.”
But Tuesday night’s matchup wasn’t all doom and gloom for the visitors.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Whitecaps scored four runs, including home runs from the bats of Eric Foggo (Stetson) and Justin Vought (Maryland). Despite being down by nearly double digits, Brewster showed the type of spirit and effort that has kept them at, or above, a .500 record all season.
“They kind of just kept battling,” Shevchik said. “The guys that came in off the bench took it seriously and worked a couple good at bats.”
For the Whitecaps, the next two games are crucial in their quest to reach a third straight playoff appearance.
A home and home series against the last place Harwich Mariners comes at a time where the Whitecaps lead the Mariners by just four points. Two wins or two losses could determine whether or not Brewster gets a chance at playing August baseball on the Cape.
As mentioned above the Whitecaps host the first of a two-game set on Wednesday against the Mariners from Stony Brook Field. First pitch is at 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, M.A. – On Sunday night, the Brewster Whitecaps (8-7-1) limited the amount of times they struck out (only five times), consistently put the ball in play and were able to put runners in scoring position throughout the night.
The problem was, the Whitecaps couldn’t turn those opportunities into runs.
In the first three innings alone, the Whitecaps stranded at least one runner in scoring position in each frame. That included a second inning where Brewster had runners on second and third with one out and a third inning where a leadoff triple from Ryan Bliss (Auburn) turned into zero runs.
The Whitecaps were missing that one break through hit. A clear sign in Brewster’s two run effort in the 5-2 loss against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (9-5-1)
“We didn’t have the timely hitting. We had guys on base, opportunities to score a run but we just couldn’t come up with a big hit,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “That’s baseball. Sometimes the bounces are going to go your way and sometimes they’re not.”
And despite trailing for the vast majority of the game, the Whitecaps were dangerously close to the Red Sox up until the eighth inning when Yarmouth-Dennis scored three runs on two walks, two singles and an error to make it 5-1 in their favor.
Brewster scored a consolation run in the ninth inning after back to back doubles from Luke Berryhill (South Carolina) and Christian Molfetta (Stanford), but it was far too little, far too late.
“We’re a good team (and) we’re really talented,” Whitecaps outfielder Tyler Gentry (Alabama) said. “It’s just hard when you’re facing really good pitching every day.”
In a league where pitching is priority, it’s true that runs are at a premium on the Cape. But when/if those opportunities arise throughout the course of a game, taking advantage of the situation is a must.
“We just didn’t have enough in us,” Shevchik said.
The Whitecaps have tomorrow off, but head to Falmouth on Tuesday. First pitch is slated to be at 6 p.m.
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.
By: Frankie Vernouski
BOURNE, M.A.—A run had already come home in the ninth and the tying run was on first, but Sean Fisher (Maryland) retired the last two Braves to secure the 2-1 victory.
Tonight marked the first win for Brewster (7-6-1) in nine days and second win over Bourne (5-7-0) this season.
Perhaps it was a good sign for the ’Caps when Ryan Bliss (Auburn) led the game off with a base-hit—his first for the team. Many hits were still to-come for Brewster. The Whitecaps bats knocked 13 hits after only four in Wednesday night’s loss to the Gatemen.
Mason Black (Lehigh) shined in his start for the ’Caps. He worked 5.2 innings and scattered four hits and a walk in that time. Only two Braves reached scoring position with the freshman on the mound.
In 15.1 innings on the season now, Black has only allowed one unearned run and struck out 18.
The bats were solid too—seven Whitecaps had a hit and eight reached base.
The biggest hit of the night came from Christian Molfetta (Stanford).
The Cardinal led off the third inning with a homerun that actually did not clear the fence on its own. Molfetta drove one to deep left-center on the first pitch he saw. Seemingly, the center-fielder Jud Fabian (Florida) caught it, but he hit the wall, and the ball jarred loose and popped over the fence. 1-0 Brewster.
The Whitecaps created plenty of other opportunities throughout the night but mostly could not capitalize. Ten men were left on base including five in the pivotal final three innings.
Gage Workman (Arizona State) scored in the eighth from a Tyler Gentry (Alabama) sacrifice fly to right. Gentry, who entered Friday’s game in a rough 0-23 stretch, went 2-3 with an RBI.
Fisher earned the save by dancing through trouble. He entered the eighth inning with one out and one man on. After allowing a double to Cade Beloso (LSU), Fisher forced a groundout to escape.
In the ninth, the Terrapin walked the lead-off man Nick Brueser (Stanford) who later scored from a one-out Henry Davis (Louisville) single. A strikeout and a groundout ended the trouble, though, to finish things 2-1.
Overall, Brewster had a much-needed victory and left the park happy. As I walked to my car after the game, Whitecaps assistant coach Gene Bowles had a message to cap the night.
“Frankie,” he yelled out of the front-row window of the team bus. “The ’Caps are hot!”
Next up is a home-and-home against Y-D starting in Yarmouth Saturday night at 5:00.