By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
HARWICH, M.A. - In arguably the biggest regular-season game for the Whitecaps thus far, they were able to escape Harwich with a 4-3 win.
Everybody knew the story going into the game. Whoever wins would be first. It was also the Whitecaps' Ace Bryce Hubbart’s (Florida State) final game. With the help of Hubbart and Jake Thompson (Oklahoma State), the Whitecaps will stay in first.
“It was revenge night and being able to do what we did is a special feeling,” Hubbart said. “I didn't have a lot of strikeouts so my teammates made a lot of great plays. I want to thank all the people who played behind me and who are in the dugout.”
Hubbart’s final stat line for the season was incredible. He went 31 innings and finished with 45 strikeouts. He had a 3-1 record with a 0.87 era in six starts.
“It was fun here, I got a lot better with my confidence and pitching,” Hubbart said. “I've learned a lot about the game, all of the coaching staff have been awesome. This is truly an experience I will never forget.”
It was a pitcher's duel for the first five innings. There were no runs scored and only two hits in the game, both by Harwich.
In the top of the sixth inning, Harwich went to their bullpen. Spencer Jones then singled, scoring Freeland to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning, Jake Thompson stepped up with two men on. Thompson hit a three-run home run to give the Whitecaps a 4-0 lead.
“I got a pitch to drive and I was so glad it landed over the fence because at first, it didn't look like it was,” Thompson said. “It was awesome helping out in a game like this. I have to give credit to Bryce for mowing them down for six innings.”
Harwich crept back into the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Harwich then made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth.
Dale Stanavich (Rutgers) came on to close the game out. Harwich picked up two more to make the game 4-3.
Stanavich was able to settle down and strike out the very next batter to keep the Whitecaps in first place in the East division.
Bryce Hubbart went six innings, allowed just three hits, had four strikeouts and no runs. Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) pitched the seventh and eighth innings. He struck out four in just two innings. Dale Stanavich, who has taken over as the full-time closer, shut the door on the Mariners.
The Whitecaps will be back at home tomorrow at 4 p.m, against the Orleans Firebirds.