By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
ORLEANS, M.A. - Last Friday, the Whitecaps embarrassingly walked off the field. They lost to the Orleans Firebirds 19-6 and gave up seven home runs. On Monday night, the tables turned, and the Whitecaps got their revenge.
The Whitecaps beat the Firebirds 5-2. The Whitecaps had more impressive pitching and very timely hitting, something the Whitecaps had struggled with in the past.
“It feels really good to get this one,” manager Jamie Shevchik said. “The pitching was great and we had double digits in hits, these guys broke out.”
Jumping forward to the sixth inning, the Whitecaps had loaded the bases. Mac Bingham (Arizona) then hit a sac fly to bring in the game's first run.
Then, Kurtis Byrne (TCU) doubled bringing in two more runs. This made the score 3-0.
The Firebirds slowly started to get back, by making it 3-1 after seven innings.
The Whitecaps then found themselves in some trouble in the eighth inning, after two dropped strike threes where the Firebirds runners reached first safely. The Firebirds had made the game 3-2.
Dale Stanavich (Rutgers) settled down and was able to get the Firebirds to ground out into a game-saving double play.
“I give credit to Dale and the defense for staying relaxed to get us out of that inning,” Shevchik said.
In the Top of the ninth, Kurtis Byrne led off with a single. The Next batter Alex Freeland (UCF) doubled to get runners on second and third with no outs. The two next batters up were put down leaving both runners on base, now with two outs.
A passed ball from the Firebirds scored Kurtis Byrne (TCU) from third to make it 4-2. Shortly after, Zach Neto (Campbell) doubled in a run making it 5-2 heading to the ninth.
Dale Stanavich (Rutgers) shut down the Firebirds in the ninth to seal the deal, and pick up the exciting win for the Whitecaps.
Bryce Hubbart (Florida State) had an impressive day. He went five innings, struck out six, allowed no runs, and only four hits.
Hubbart is tied for the lead in strikeouts in the Cape League with 22.
In relief Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) and Dale Stanavich were able to close the door on the Firebirds.
Kurtis Byrne had another unbelievable game at the plate, finishing with three hits. This comes after struggling at the plate for the first few games.
“At the plate, I'm being a lot more aggressive,” Byrne said. “I'm trusting my approach and attacking earlier in counts, and I think that is helping me.”
Colin Davis (Wofford) and Shawn Goosenberg (Northwestern) finished with two hits apiece.
The Whitecaps now (6-4-2) will be at home against Falmouth at 5 p.m.