By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
WAREHAM, M.A. - On a chilly and long night in Wareham, the Whitecaps put up five runs in the eighth inning to take down the Gatemen.
In the first seven innings of the game, the Whitecaps offense was nowhere to be found, and they were trailing 3-0. That was until an explosion in the eighth inning. The Whitecaps scored five runs in the eighth and won 5-3.
“For six innings it felt like this team could be heading in the wrong direction and then all of a sudden Whitecaps baseball happened,” Whitecaps Manager Jamie Shevchik said. “ Someone sprinkled a little pixie dust and all of a sudden we are up to five runs.”
It was all Gatemen early on. The Gatemen put up three runs in the first seven innings, and it looked as if they would hand the Whitecaps their second straight loss.
That was the thought, well, until the 8th inning.
After back-to-back singles by Tony Bullard (Arizona) and Jake Thompson (Oklahoma State), and a walk by Will Simpson (Washington). The bases were loaded, for Chad Castillo (Cal Baptist). Castillo roped a single, scoring Bullard and Thompson to make it a one-run game.
Castillo finished three for four and has been huge for the Whitecaps' offense since arriving on the Cape.
“It means everything coming out here and seeing how my talents stack up against some of the best players in the country,” Castillo said. “Seeing that I’m up there and doing my part gives me so much confidence.”
Next up was Kurtis Byrne (TCU). Byrne singled to tie the game at three.
Nick Biddison (Virginia Tech) stepped up and turned a bunt into two more runs after the Wareham third baseman sailed it way over the first baseman's head. The error made the score 5-3 in favor of the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps stayed in the game with a huge outing from the bullpen.
Hunter Owen (Vanderbilt), Greg Farone (Herkimer County Community College), and Michael Prosecky (Louisville) combined for nine strikeouts in five innings and only allowed one run.
“These guys came in and did their job,” Jamie Shevchik said. “It could have easily been four or five nothing, but they recorded some huge outs.”
The Whitecaps are still in the heart of a playoff race and are drawing closer to their magic number with only six games remaining.
The Whitecaps now (19-9-3) will go into their off-day with tons of confidence and will be back Friday at Bourne.