By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
BOURNE, M.A. - The Epic showdown between the two division leaders on the Cape lived up to the hype. The Whitecaps out-dueled the Braves by one run and clinched a playoff spot.
Everyone knew the situation going into the game for the Whitecaps. Win and the Whitecaps are into the playoffs. The Whitecaps did just that. The Whitecaps came from behind in the eighth inning to win 3-2. The win clinched the Whitecaps a playoff berth for the first time since 2018.
“It's a cool sight to see these guys fired up,” Whitecaps’ manager Jamie Shevchik said. “You can tell all of them want to be here and they're anticipating we are going to score runs late in the game.”
The Braves went up 1-0 in the bottom of the third, but the Whitecaps responded quickly in the fourth.
Jake Thompson (Oklahoma State) grounded out to the third baseman, that scored Mac Bingham (Arizona) to tie the game at 1.
Bourne quickly gained the lead back in the bottom of the fifth by going up 2-1.
The score stayed the same for the next couple of innings. The Whitecaps' chances of winning started to dwindle.
In the bottom of the eighth and the bases loaded and two outs, into the box stepped Tony Bullard (Arizona). Bullard ripped a single to left field. The single scored two runs for the Whitecaps to take a 3-2 lead.
“It was sweet, I was just trying to put the ball in play and I found a hole,” Bullard said. “It's been great just being able to play with all of these guys and now get to play even longer with each other.”
Bullard was a late-season signing for the Whitecaps and has produced a ton both on the offensive and defensive ends.
After Brennan Oxford (Wake Forest) walked the first man in the bottom of the eighth, Jamie Shevchik called upon Dale Stanavich (Rutgers).
The lefty completed the six-out save to send the Whitecaps to the playoffs.
“All of us here right now are all interns, trying to get to that next step up in our careers,” Stanavich said. “I’m interning to be a professional closer and I’m so thankful the coaches have allowed me to assume that role. I am also thankful for the players behind me on the field helping me out every step of the way.”
The Whitecaps have been the most interesting team to watch all summer. That is because of one big part of baseball, and that's hitting
The Whitecaps have shown they can win ball games while only having .210 team batting average.
The Whitecaps are onto their next challenge that is being crowned regular-season champions. That is something that has not been done by the Whitecaps, since 2003.
The Whitecaps now (20-9-3) will have a home and home series this weekend against the Harwich Mariners. The first game is tomorrow at 4 p.m, at Stony Brook Field.