By: Koki Riley
FALMOUTH, M.A. – On June 26th, Whitecaps outfielder Tyler Gentry (Alabama) was hitting .103 with a .167 on base percentage. He had recorded just four hits in 13 games.
Flash forward to July 13th and Gentry is now an Eastern Division All-Star. Leading Brewster with eight doubles and 16 runs batted while posting a .255 batting average.
17 days after his an appallingly poor start, Gentry’s comeback to relevance became fully realized on Saturday night in Falmouth.
The right fielders two RBI double in the 10thinning in a 2-2 ballgame delivered the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead over the Commodores (13-11-1) in Brewster’s (13-13-1) 4-3 win.
“After the rough start I got off to in the beginning (of the season) it was nice to play better across these last 15 or so game and get some (All-Star) recognition,” Gentry said.
“(Gentry) grinds out at bats,” Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “He’s the type of player that everybody wants on their team.”
After walking the bases loaded, Falmouth relief pitcher Thomas Girard (Duke) had obvious control problems despite getting two outs in the 10thframe. With regular season Cape League games only lasting 10 innings regardless of the score, Brewster’s last chance of winning the game came down to Gentry’s at bat.
A chance that the rising junior smashed into left field.
The Whitecaps All-Star delivered. And after last night’s nightmare defeat in Wareham, Brewster’s extra innings victory was the perfect response to a potentially season defining loss.
“(It was) the opposite of yesterday,” Shevchik said. “Timely hitting and good pitching won us a game.”
That good pitching on Saturday night came from the right arm of Connor Shamblin (Alabama) and the left arm of Sean Fisher (Maryland).
To start off the evening, Shamblin made his best start of the summer for the Whitecaps by throwing six innings of one run baseball. Most importantly, the rising sophomore only allowed one walk.
Shamblin had handed out 16 free passes in his previous three starts.
“He’s starting to pitch like we expected him to pitch,” Shevchik said. “It’s not how you start it’s how you finish.”
“I had a good change up today (and) a good slider,” Shamblin said. “Getting ahead (in the count) is the biggest key for me.”
To finish off the night was Fisher whose three innings in relief (the eighth, ninth and 10thinnings) proved to be critical in maintaining Brewster’s chances in the eventual victory.
“That’s a gutsy effort by Fish to come into that situation,” Shevchik said. “He was tired a little bit at the end but wanted the ball.”
The Whitecaps finally head back home to face Wareham for the final time this season. First pitch at Stony Brook Field is at 5 p.m.