By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA - For the second consecutive game, the Brewster Whitecaps (8-6-1) took down the Chatham Anglers (6-9) at Stony Brook Field in Brewster, this time by a final score of 6-4.
After falling behind 4-2, the Whitecaps would bat around in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to take a 6-4 lead.
After a Christian Molfetta (Stanford) double put two runners in scoring position for Brewster, Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) brought home Justin Kunz (Gardner Webb) from third base on a ground out, cutting Chatham’s lead to one.
Back-to-back walks to Connor Smith (Western Michigan) and A.J. Graffanino (Washington) then loaded the bases for Mickey Gasper (Bryant) with two outs in the inning.
Gasper, who entered the game with a .366 average, delivered arguably the biggest hit of the team’s young season, a double off the center field fence, clearing the bases and giving the Whitecaps a 6-4 lead.
“I was just trying to shorten up, choked up on the bat a little bit, tried to hit a ball square like we’ve been working on in batting practice,” said Gasper. “I just tried to stick to the game plan, I got a good pitch, and I executed it.”
“Offensively we came up with the big hit, Mickey Gasper is coming up with the big hit, a lot of our guys are,” Shevchik said. “Any time the game is on the line I want the bat in that kid’s hands.”
With the Brewster offense finally breaking through in the sixth, it was up to the Whitecaps bullpen to close the game out and secure the team’s eighth victory.
Right-hander Chris Machamer (Kentucky) was stellar, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings while striking out two Chatham hitters.
Chatham got out to their 4-2 lead off of Brewster starter Will Tribucher (Michigan), who allowed four runs in 3.2 inning pitched while walking five.
“For Tribucher to struggle like he did today and still give us a chance to win today, that was big,” said Shevchik. “That game could’ve gotten out of hand really quick.”
Shevchik originally did not plan on starting the southpaw, but with the limited amount of arms available, the Whitecaps were forced to turn to Tribucher.
The Anglers would pounce on Tribucher early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
A Nick Patten (Delaware) single brought Jeremy Pena (Maine) home, then Tribucher walked Fabian Pena (Manhattan) with the bases loaded to double the Anglers lead.
Brewster would answer, though, in the bottom of the first, thanks to a throwing error from Anglers third baseman Antonio Ralat (UAB) that allowed Smith to score. Then, in the second, Smith drove home Molfetta, tying the game at two.
Chatham’s offense responded, however, as an RBI Pena double gave the Anglers a 3-2 lead.
Chatham would then add onto their lead in the fourth inning on a Shea Langeliers (Baylor) double that scored shortstop Jeremy Pena to give the Anglers a two-run lead.
Anglers starting pitcher Connor Bishop (UC-Irvine) was solid for Chatham, as the lefty only allowed one earned run in three innings pitched.
Bishop was making his first appearance of the calendar year as he missed all of the Anteaters’ season with an oblique injury.
In the end, however, it was the Chatham bullpen that doomed the Anglers as relievers Reiss Knehr (Fordham) and Eli Nabholz (Millersville) together would allow four runs in the sixth inning alone.
Joe DeMers (Washington) would get the final six outs of the game for the Whitecaps, recording his first save of the season.
“It’s such a blessing to be out here playing with this group of guys and being in this atmosphere,” said Gasper, smiling. “I take every day like it’s a brand new experience and I’m just so happy to be out here so I do my best to help the team feel the way I do.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps are at home once again on Thursday as they take on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.