By: Aodhán Doyle
BREWSTER, MA- Brewster Whitecaps right-handed pitcher Jonathan Stiever (Indiana) throws a lot of strikes. In fact, before Friday’s game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, Brewster manager Jamie Shevchik said sometimes he might throw a few too many.
“He throws a ton of strikes,” said Shevchik before the game. “Where he’s going to get hurt is when he throws too many strikes.”
That seemed to be the case against Hyannis as Stiever (1-1) took the loss for the Whitecaps (8-7-1), who fell 8-3 to the Harbor Hawks (7-8-1) at Stony Brook Field.
Stiever lasted just four innings, surrendering six earned runs while allowing ten Harbor Hawk hits.
“He was around the zone. Hitters are very comfortable in the box against Stiever,” said Shevchik. “I think what he needs to do is, he needs to learn how to locate some of those pitches when he gets ahead in the count outside of the strike zone and get guys to chase a bit. It’s something he needs to work on.”
As expected, Stiever pounded the strike zone, with 47 of his 63 pitches going for strikes, but too many found the heart of the plate and were squared up by Harbor Hawk hitters.
It was a balanced Hyannis offense, with seven different hitters with a run batted in and every batter recording at least one hit.
Entering the fifth inning, it was just a one-run game with Hyannis leading 4-3. Four pitches later, however, Hyannis was up 6-3 courtesy of back-to-back home runs by Micah Coffey (Minnesota) and Daniel Robinson (Central Michigan).
“Today we kind of came out slow and they jumped on us,” said Zack Gahagan (UNC). “We’ve just got to be better and come here tomorrow and be ready.”
Whitecaps pitchers allowed a season-high 16 hits in the game.
“There was some pressure on us. We were just constantly in a hole,” Shevchik said. “We had opportunities to score runs and just couldn’t capitalize. It felt like we were fighting an uphill battle today.”
After initially falling behind 3-0 after two innings, the Whitecaps battled back in a third inning in which they sent eight men to the plate. Mickey Gasper (Bryant), Hunter Bishop (Arizona State), and Michael Curry (Georgia) all picked up RBI-singles that tied the game at three.
Brewster threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out, but a double play followed by a lineout allowed Hyannis to escape unscathed.
Brester left twelve runners on base in the game, continuing a trend that has been an issue for the team all season.
“We felt a little lethargic it looked like,” said Shevchik. “I don’t know if the long stretch of games is getting to them…we’re not even in July yet and we still have a long way to go. Fighting through all of that is going to be a challenge.”
The Whitecaps found success off Hyannis starter Brooks Crawford (Clemson), who left the game with two runners on and nobody out in the fourth, but the Hyannis bullpen trio of Chase Haney (Florida State), Nick Sandlin (So. Mississippi), and Ryan Weiss (Wright State) shut down the Brewster offense, combining for six innings of scoreless ball.
Ryan Avidano (Georgia) relieved Stiever and kept the Harbor Hawks at bay. Avidano threw five innings of relief, allowing just one earned run while striking out six.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster takes on Yarmouth-Dennis at 5 p.m. on Saturday. It’s the Whitecaps’ fourth consecutive home game and fans can tune in on Lower Cape TV Channel 99 or live on the Whitecaps' YouTube channel.