By: Koki Riley
Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than to be good.
On Thursday night, the Brewster Whitecaps (6-3-1) learned that exact lesson in their 5-5 tie with the Chatham Anglers (4-3-1) when loads of rain began falling from the sky midway through the top of the seventh inning just as the Anglers took a 7-5 lead over the Whitecaps.
Two passed balls allowed by Brewster catcher Brett Auerbach (Alabama), in a seventh inning that was eventually scrapped from the record books, seemed to be the end of what was a dramatic five-run comeback for the Whitecaps. But thankfully for Brewster, the baseball gods came to the rescue.
“I got an alert on my watch that the rain was coming in about 10 minutes and as soon as those two passed balls went through Carson Coleman (Kentucky) was standing next to me and said, ‘well if it’s going to rain let it rain right now,’ and as soon as I said that it opened up,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
But before the rain washed away any chances of victory for either side, the actual game itself was extremely entertaining.
A tough start from Jimmy Ramsey (Kentucky) on the bump for Brewster saw the Whitecaps down 5-0 by the end of the top of the fourth. But, an errant throw from Cade Cabbiness (Oklahoma State) from right field and an RBI single from Eric Foggo (Stetson) quickly cut the deficit to three in the bottom of the inning.
Then, two innings later, a solo home run from Alerick Soularie (Tennessee) and a bloop RBI single from Dominic Toso (Bucknell) suddenly cut the Brewster deficit to one all while Whitecaps relief pitcher Tyler Follis (Louisiana Tech) continued to produce outs on the mound against one of the deepest and most talented lineups on the Cape.
By the end of the night, Follis struck out five and allowed just one hit in three and a third innings of relief. In the process, the Texas native gave the Whitecaps offense a chance of coming back from a five-run deficit in a game that at times felt hopeless from a Brewster perspective.
“His velocity was not your standard 90 to 93. It was more of the 86 to 88 range,” Shevchik said. “That’s a tough lineup (the Anglers lineup) a murderer’s row that can handle 95 (miles an hour) straight. I think Follis had them a little off balance and disrupted (their) timing.”
The Whitecaps went on to tie the game an inning later in the sixth on a passed ball that allowed Auerbach to score from third base.
And to the dismay of Anglers fans, the run scoring passed ball was the last run that counted in the game. The rain made sure of that.
“When your struggling it’s like you’re playing in quick sand,” Shevchik said. “But when you’re winning and you’re getting the bounces and things are going your way, stuff like this happens.”
The Whitecaps go to Chatham on Friday night to finish off a home and home series with the Anglers. First pitch from Veterans Field is at 7 p.m.