By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
BREWSTER, M.A. - For the third straight game, the Whitecaps have trailed going into the eighth, and for the third straight time, the Whitecaps have rallied in the eighth win their third straight game.
This time the Whitecaps went into the eighth inning trailing 4-3. The Whitecaps put up five runs in the eighth to come back and beat the Harwich Mariners 8-4.
“We have fans that have no idea what happens after the seventh inning because they started to leave,” Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik said. “Something is going on, it's weird and a lot of fun for us, it's unexplainable. When teams go down here they fold, but not us.”
The Whitecaps scored their first three runs in the weirdest ways possible.
The first run came off an error, the second run came off a bases-loaded walk, and their third run came from a wild pitch.
Usually, three runs would be enough for the Whitecaps, who always have dominant pitching. Tonight three was not enough because the Mariners put up four runs and a home run in the top of the seventh to give themselves a 4-3 lead.
The Whitecaps showed no panic.
The first run in the eighth came from a bases-loaded walk issued to Tony Bullard (Arizona) to tie the game at 4. The next batter Jake Thompson (Oklahoma State), hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Nick Biddison (Virginia Tech) to give the Whitecaps the lead.
Chris Lanzilli (Arkansas) then hit a groundout to score another run and give the Whitecaps a 6-4 lead, with Chad Castillo (Cal Baptist) on deck.
Castillo added the exclamation point by hitting a bomb over the right-field fence to make the score 8-4 and give the Whitecaps their third straight win.
Griffin Green (Virginia Tech), a regular out of the bullpen, assumed the starting pitcher role today and took it in stride.
Green went 4.2 innings, struck out five, allowed three hits, and one earned run.
“It was way different starting than coming out of the bullpen,” Green said. “I felt great out there mentally and physically. It's unreal we made the playoffs, and we want to keep winning to keep the dream season alive.”
There is something special going on in Brewster right now, and nobody can figure it out. The Whitecaps are one win away from winning their first regular-season divisional championship since 2003.
“It means a lot to the Brewster community to win the regular-season title,” Jamie Shevchik said. “Our main goal as a team isn't just to win the regular season. It’s to win the whole thing at the end of the summer.”
The Whitecaps now (21-9-3) will be at Harwich tomorrow at 5:30 p.m, seeking the regular-season crown in the East Division.