By: Koki Riley
T.J. Collett (Kentucky) is a man of many superstitions.
“If I am ever in a slump I play with my socks inside out, have my batting gloves undone and I switch bats,” Collett said.
Collett, the Whitecaps starting designated hitter, is not what you’d call your everyday Cape League temporary player. He holds superstitions, plays the game in a worry-free manner despite arriving at the ballpark knowing that any day could be his last and, most importantly for Brewster, can hit a baseball with the best of them.
On Wednesday night from Whitehouse Field, it was Collett, the same man who is willing to play a Division 1 baseball game with his socks inside out, whose solo home runs in the second and third innings were the difference in the Whitecaps (6-3) 4-2 victory over the Harwich Mariners (3-5).
An RBI single from Ciaran Devenney (UMass Lowell) and an RBI double from Colin Davis (Wofford) along with Collett’s offensive showcase proved to be enough in a fog filled and strikeout heavy affair.
But even as the fog rolled in and out and back in again throughout the night, the amount strikeouts, for both sides, occurred at a much more regular rate. Mariners batters struck out 15 times to Brewster’s 12. At one point, Harwich saw its hitters strike out nine times from the fourth inning until the sixth.
Recording seven of those nine strikeouts and finishing with eight strikeouts of his own on the night was Whitecaps relief pitcher Mason Black (Lehigh) who in 4.1 innings pitched recorded a staggering eight strikeouts.
“He had the swing and miss fastball today,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said after the win. “(Black) was only supposed to go two innings today and he was going to start on Sunday. But it was a tight game, he felt really good, he had the hitters in check so we let him ride.”
The Whitecaps bullpen as a whole has been brilliant, allowing just seven earned runs as a unit in nine games this season. And with Carson Coleman (Kentucky) closing out the game in the ninth, the Brewster pen allowed just one run and one hit in 5.1 innings of relief on the night.
Now winners of their last six, the Whitecaps own a three-point lead in the Eastern Divisional standings and lead the Cape League in wins.
“I know it’s early but it’s fun to be a part of (this team),” Shevchik said.