By: Maura Sheridan
WAREHAM, MA- Entering the top of the fifth inning trailing 5-4, the Brewster Whitecaps needed a spark.
When the moment called for it, Whitecaps right fielder Chandler Taylor (Alabama) delivered, crushing a two-run home run to left field and giving Brewster a 6-5 lead over the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field.
While when the final out was recorded, the scoreboard read 8-7 Whitecaps, it was Taylor’s home run that gave a Brewster a lead they would not relinquish.
“I just wanted to see a good pitch,” Taylor said. “I put a good swing on it and let the rest fall.”
It was Taylor’s eighth home run of the season, putting the Montgomery native in a three-way tie for the league lead in long balls with Cotuit’s Griffin Conine (Duke) and Falmouth’s Marty Bechina (Michigan State).
With the win over the Gatemen, the Whitecaps moved to 17-19-2 on the season. With the Harwich Mariners’ loss to the Bourne Braves at Whitehouse Field, Brewster officially clinched its playoff spot, meaning all four spots in the Eastern Division have been claimed.
“We went all in,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “We wanted to lock this thing down as quickly as we possibly could.”
The Gatemen certainly did not make it easy for the Whitecaps, as Brewster used six different pitchers to battle their way to the victory.
After the Whitecaps got out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a two-run Taylor double, an RBI-single from A.J. Graffanino (Washington), and Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) scoring on a wild pitch, the Gatemen responded with four runs of their own.
Brewster starting pitcher Pauly Milto (Indiana) had trouble with his command and after retiring the first two batters of the inning, surrendered a single, walk, walk, single, hit-by-pitch, and double before the final out of the inning was made.
Milto lasted just two innings before Shevchik turned the ball over to the bullpen.
Joe Demers (Washington) was the first Whitecaps arm to enter in relief, but after working a perfect third inning, DeMers allowed an RBI-double from Kyle Kasser (Oregon) which gave Wareham the 5-4 lead.
After Taylor’s two-run blast, the Whitecaps took charge offensively.
Brewster extended its lead in the top of the seventh when Marty Costes (Maryland) brought Mickey Gasper (Bryant) home with an RBI-triple, his first of the season, giving the Whitecaps a 7-5 advantage.
Graffanino tacked on what turned out to be a very important insurance run with a sacrifice fly, extending Brewster’s lead to 8-5.
Trying to close the game out with a plethora of bullpen arms, Shevchik turned to newly signed and activated reliever Zach Schneider (Florida Atlantic) for the seventh and eighth frames.
Schneider held the Gatemen scoreless, but when the righty was removed, Wareham mounted a rally.
In another debut appearance for the Whitecaps, Connor McNamara (Marist) came on in the ninth to try and close the game out.
Wareham knocked McNamara around for two runs on two hits, making it a one-run game.
Matthew Beck (LSU) was called in to try and get the final out of the ballgame and after allowing an inherited runner to score, making it 8-7, Beck struck out Ben Baird (Washington) looking to end the threat and the game, picking up his second save.
“The next couple of days we can breathe a little bit,” said Shevchik after the win. “We were going to do everything to win this game.”
DeMers (1-1) earned the win for the Whitecaps, while Sam Bordner (Louisville) pitched two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, while striking out two and lowering his season earned run average to 1.59.
Tanner Dodson (California) took the loss for the Gatemen, surrendering two runs over three and two-thirds innings.
Perhaps what was most surprising, however, was the success Brewster found off Gatemen starter Justin Montgomery (Cal Baptist).
Montgomery, who entered the game with a league-leading 1.11 earned run average and was the starting pitcher for the Western Division in Saturday’s All-Star Game, lasted just an inning and a third, giving up four runs on three hits and walking two.
In seven previous appearances this season, Montgomery had only given up a run in one of them.
Taylor finished his day 2-4 with four runs driven in and a walk, while Graffanino drove in two runs of his own, giving him five RBI in the last three games.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster hits the road again on Friday, traveling to Doran Park in Bourne for another interdivision matchup. First pitch between the Whitecaps and Braves is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Coming off a spectacular pitching performance from Tony Locey (Georgia) and arguably the team’s most complete performance on Tuesday night, Brewster Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik hoped the momentum carried into Wednesday’s divisional matchup against the Chatham Anglers.
Unfortunately for Shevchik, his team couldn’t replicate their success, falling 7-4 to the Anglers (18-19) at Stony Brook Field.
Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) made his sixth start of the summer, but allowed six runs in 5.1 innings, walking four, and striking out just two.
All season long, Shevchik has emphasized the importance of setting the tone early, but a three-run first inning had Molettiere (0-4) starting his outing off on the wrong note.
“It’s hard to play baseball when you’re constantly coming from behind,” Shevchik said. “The momentum of the game comes from the starting pitcher and Joe, obviously, didn’t do a great job in that first inning today. He put us behind and we had to struggle to find runs and that was the difference in today’s game if you look at it.”
From the very first inning, when Molettiere walked two batters and hit another, it was clear the right-hander’s command wasn’t sharp. In total, Molettiere threw 83 pitches and just 40 of them for strikes.
“[Molettiere] was behind almost every hitter he faced in the first inning,” said Shevchik. “We were very lucky to come out of the first inning with just giving up three runs. It starts with the starting pitching, always. They set the tone for the rest of the game.”
The Anglers offensive assault began with a bases loaded fielder’s choice by Josh Stowers (Louisville), scoring Jeremy Pena (Maine) and giving Chatham the early 1-0 lead.
Chatham tacked on two more runs on a sacrifice fly and then a two-out RBI-single from Ashton McGee (UNC), giving the Anglers an early 3-0 lead.
Brewster (16-19-2) responded, however, taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third.
Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) got the Whitecaps’ scoring started with a two-run home run to center field, his first long ball of the summer.
“He threw a fastball on the outside half and I took it to left-center field,” Bishop said. “It was one of the best swings I’ve had since being here so it felt good.”
Bishop finished the day 2-3 with two runs driven in, his third consecutive game with a hit.
“I think the more at-bats I get the better I’m seeing the ball,” said Bishop. “It took me a while to get adjusted to some of the pitchers but I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable and I think it’s showing.”
“Hunter’s a big-time player,” said Shevchik. “He’s a guy we stuck with pretty much the entire summer. This is what we expected, the more at-bats he got the better he’s going to be.”
With two runners in scoring position, Mickey Gasper (Bryant) ripped a single to right, driving home both runners and giving the Whitecaps the lead.
After Molettiere held the Anglers scoreless from the second through the fifth innings, Chatham got to the righty again in the sixth.
McGee’s second RBI-single of the game tied it at four before Landon Kay’s (Furman) two-run single gave Chatham the 6-4 advantage.
The seventh and final run of the game for Chatham came in the top of the seventh on a Stowers sacrifice fly.
After Jacob Stevens (Boston College) only lasted two innings for the Anglers, Chatham’s bullpen trio of Rodney Hutchison (UNC), Jack DeGroat (Liberty), and Adam Wolf (Louisville) was phenomenal.
The triad combined for seven innings of scoreless ball, allowing just six hits and striking out four.
Hutchison (2-0) was especially dominant, going five scoreless innings for the Anglers and picking up the victory,
Brewster threatened to tie the game late, but fell short.
In the eighth, Kyle Datres (UNC) and Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) both struck out with two runners in scoring position, ending the inning.
Then, in the ninth, Michael Curry (Georgia) represented the tying run at the plate for the Whitecaps, but struck out looking to end the game.
“I don’t put this all on Joe, either,” said Shevchik.” We took the lead and then just couldn’t hold it. I know our pitching wasn’t sharp today, but I think most of it today was offensively we had opportunities to score some runs and couldn’t push them across.”
After entering the game in the sixth inning, Drew Reveno (St. Louis) pitched an inning and two-thirds in relief, striking out three and allowing one run.
Will Tribucher (Michigan) was the final Brewster arm, allowing just a single hit in two innings of work.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps head to Wareham to face off against the Gatemen at Spillane Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Blessed with a mid-90s fastball, a sharp breaking ball, and a frame built for durability, Brewster Whitecaps starting pitcher Tony Locey (Georgia) possesses talent kids dream of and scouts drool over.
On Tuesday evening at Stony Brook Field, Locey (3-2) showed off every bit of that talent, throwing eight scoreless innings in a 9-0 win over the Cotuit Kettleers.
“When I get into the game it’s all about pitching,” said Locey. “My preparation leading up to it, though, was get my two-seam fastball working, get my off-speed working, and just attack low in the zone.”
Locey, who had gone five innings in all five of his previous starts for Brewster (16-18-2), allowed just three hits, struck out six Kettleer hitters, and lowered his earned run average to 2.91 on the season, good for fifth best in the league.
“He threw a lot of strikes,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “He’s a strikeout pitcher so a lot of times his pitch count is a lot higher than it’s supposed to be by the time we reach the fourth inning. I think he kind of settled in and he pitched to contact a little bit and he wasn’t worried about just chasing strikeouts. This is one of his better starts, if not the best start he’s had all summer long.”
Before the eighth inning, Locey had allowed only one Cotuit (17-17-1) baserunner to reach second base and retired eleven straight batters.
Then in the eighth, the first two hitters reached. Locey bore down, however, retiring the next three hitters in order and keeping the shutout intact.
“That was huge,” Locey said. “I just knew those were my runs and if I was going to give them up, I was going to give them up. I continued to attack low in the zone and I got a few ground balls and they made the plays for me.”
“He’s a competitor,” said Shevchik about Locey. “He’s a guy, if you ever look in the dugout, it’s coach, coach, Tony Locey, coach, coach, coach. He’s right in the middle of the action all the time because he’s a sponge. He constantly wants to just listen and learn and bring stuff back to Georgia with him. He’s been awesome to be around so I’m really happy for him.”
In total, Locey threw 118 pitches, 70 for strikes, and went the farthest into a ballgame that any Brewster starter has gone this season.
“I just took all of my outings into consideration to know what I could do to get better and work on for my next outing,” said Locey. “I still have stuff I have to work on for my next start and I’ll do that this week.”
The Whitecaps offense provided Locey all the run support the righty needed, as Brewster scored nine runs on ten hits.
“We didn’t hit batting practice before the game, so Shev said that was it, so I’m going to go with that,” said Whitecaps outfielder Hunter Bishop (Arizona State). “I think the approach was good, our hitters were seeing it great, and obviously Tony pitched one hell of a game.”
Entering the seventh inning leading 4-0, Brewster broke the game open with a three-run frame.
After a Michael Curry (Georgia) walk loaded the bases, Kyle Datres (UNC) singled home Bishop and Chandler Taylor (Alabama), making it 6-0 Whitecaps.
Brewster then tacked on their seventh run of the game in the same inning as a walk to A.J. Graffanino (Washington) with the bases loaded drove in Curry, making it a seven-run contest.
The Whitecaps were not done scoring runs, however, as Brewster tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning on a single from Zack Gahagan (UNC) that would drive in Bishop. Devin Foyle (Kansas) also scored after the throw to first from third basemen John Cresto (Santa Clara) would sail wide.
With a 9-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, Locey would make way for Matthew Beck (LSU).
Beck would then throw a scoreless ninth inning and close out the game for the Whitecaps to seal the 9-0 victory, the team’s first victory in over a week (July 16th).
“I love seeing Matthew do good and love seeing our whole team do good,” said Locey. “Matthew works a lot in the bullpen and a lot of people don’t see. He puts a lot of work and time in so it’s good he has success on the field.”
“If Tony goes out there and throws three or four innings today, we’re throwing three more guys and those guys are done for three days,” Shevchik said. “For him to really stretch it out for us this time of the year was big for the bullpen. Tony was huge for us today, more than we can explain.”
Despite entering the game with the worst fielding percentage in the league, Brewster did not commit an error in the victory.
“We got a lead and everything went right,” said Shevchik. “It was probably one of the most complete games we’ve played.”
On the flip side for Cotuit, the Kettleers failed to keep the Whitecaps offense at bay after an adequate performance from starting pitcher Austin Kitchen (Coastal Carolina).
Kitchen, who was making his first start, went five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits.
Kitchen allowed two runs in the second inning when consecutive singles from Graffanino and Christian Molfetta (Stanford) drove in a pair of runs for the Whitecaps.
“The first two innings set the tempo for the entire game,” Shevchik said. “Today, the tone was set from the beginning.”
After Kitchen (1-2), the Kettleers’ pitching and defense disintegrated, as the Cotuit bullpen would allow seven runs (four earned) in just three innings of work, while the defense would commit four errors.
The Whitecaps pounced on Jayce Vancena (Michigan), who relieved Kitchen, scoring a pair of runs to make it a 4-0 game.
First, Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) smashed a double into left field to drive in Curry and make it 3-0. Brewster then tacked on their fourth run of the game a few batters later, as Graffanino hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Datres and making it a 4-0 Brewster lead.
Bishop entered the game in the bottom of the second as a pinch-hitter for Steele Walker (Oklahoma).
“[Coach Kanzler] told me just to be ready whenever I was called upon,” Bishop said. “My first two at-bats weren’t very good, I think I broke my bat, but I adjusted.”
Walker was removed from the game with an achilles injury, the same scenario that unfolded on Sunday in Hyannis.
“He’s got a sore achilles,” said Shevchik. “It’s something that he’s probably going to have to sit on for the next couple days. He tried to go back out there today, he probably should have sat. It just wasn’t feeling good, so we didn’t want to push the issue.”
Graffanino finished the day 1-2 with a run scored and three runs batted in.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps are at home again, facing off against the Chatham Anglers on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
HYANNIS, MA - After forcing a tie against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday night, the Brewster Whitecaps dropped game two of the home-and-home series at McKeon Park by a score of 2-1 on Sunday night.
The Whitecaps’ (15-18-2) offense had trouble driving in runs against Hyannis (12-20-3) pitching as Brewster only scratched across six hits all game.
“Big ballpark, wind blowing in, too many flyballs,” said Whitecaps bench coach Tommy Weber. “We needed to put the ball in play more effectively, maybe on the ground or on a line. We hit a lot of flyballs today and the ball wasn’t going to go anywhere so we ended up one run short.”
Brewster did not score until the seventh inning, when a Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) sacrifice fly to right field allowed Nick Dunn (Maryland) to score from third base, tying the game at one.
With two outs and two men on, Connor Smith (Western Michigan) got a chance to give the Whitecaps the lead, but the Whitecaps’ third basemen struck out to end the top half of the inning.
In the bottom half, Hyannis’ first two batters reached, prompting a pitching change from Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik, who replaced Jonathan Stiever (Indiana) with Joe DeMers (Washington).
With two outs in the frame, however, Hyannis catcher, and pinch-hitter, Chris Proctor (Duke) lifted a fly ball down the left field line that just stayed fair before bouncing out of play for a ground-rule double, putting Hyannis back on top 2-1.
While the offense struggled, the Whitecaps’ pitching and defense was exceptional.
Stiever was thrown into the fire for Brewster, entering the game in the third inning trailing 1-0 after Brewster starter Ryan Avidano (Georgia) left the game with general soreness.
“It was kind of crazy, luckily it was pretty early so I had warmed up not too long before that, so it didn’t take me too long,” Stiever said about the circumstances. “As I was warming up, just already getting the mentality that I’m in the game and got to compete.”
Despite the adverse circumstances, Stiever performed admirably, allowing just one run on two hits in four innings of work while striking out two.
“Just trying to work more off the plate a little and mix speeds throughout my outing,” Stiever said. “Hopefully trying to induce some soft contact, which hopefully I did for the most part.”
“A lot of strikes,” Weber said about Stiever’s performance. “It’s the worst kept secret in the world, you’ve got to throw a lot of strikes. You throw a lot of strikes and you’ve got a shot. We played good defense, which was refreshing, but unfortunately we came out on the short side of it.”
Avidano continued his strong pitching for Brewster as the big southpaw surrendered only one a run in just 2.2 innings of work before exiting.
The run came in the first inning when Tyler Frank (Florida Atlantic) beat out the throw from second base on a potential double play, allowing Reece Hampton (Charlotte) to score from third and make it 1-0 Harbor Hawks.
The Whitecaps would not record a single error, snapping a six-game streak in which Brewster committed at least one error in every game.
“We just have put in a lot of time and effort,” Weber said about the team’s defense. “Everybody on this club is working real hard to remedy this problem we’ve had all year long and, basically, we told them just keep at it and eventually the tide will turn and hopefully it has.”
“Also, the rhythm of a pitcher like Stiever tonight, who just kept throwing a lot of strikes, keeps the defense on its toes and it’s easier to make plays.”
However, Hyannis matched Brewster’s defensive and pitching prowess with only one run allowed and only one error committed on the night.
The Harbor Hawks started Tyler Vaughn (Belmont) on the mound who, in his first appearance in the Cape League, did not allow a run on five hits and three strikeouts in five innings of work.
In relief of Vaughn for Hyannis was the trio of Ryan Weiss (Wright State), Christian Tripp (New Mexico), and Nick Sandlin (Southern Mississippi). The triad combined to allow only one run and one hit in four innings of work.
Avidano wasn’t the only Whitecap to leave the game with an injury as starting center fielder Steele Walker (Oklahoma) was removed with achilles soreness.
Walker lined out to the shortstop in his only at-bat in the top of the first inning.
With Harwich dropping their eighth game in a row against Orleans on Sunday night, the Whitecaps are now either three wins or three Harwich losses away from clinching a spot in the playoffs.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps head to Fenway Park in Boston for the league’s annual workout day in front of scouts. The team’s next game is Tuesday evening at Stony Brook Field against the Cotuit Kettleers. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA - After dropping their previous three games, the Brewster Whitecaps came back from a 7-2 deficit to earn their second tie of the season in an 8-8 game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Friday night.
“It’s not how we wanted it, but we battled back,” said Whitecaps outfielder Steele Walker (Oklahoma). “Obviously not two points, but one point, we’ll take it. We battled back as a team and bonded a little bit together and it wasn’t a loss, so we’ll move on from that.”
The Whitecaps (15-17-2) kick started their rally in the sixth inning when Marty Costes (Maryland) blasted his fifth home run of the season, cutting the five-run deficit to just two.
“I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity I’ve been given,” Costes said. “I’m having fun with these guys and I’m glad they battled to the point where I was even in that situation. It was a good guy on the mound and a 3-2 count. He threw a good pitch and I was lucky to get a bat on it.”
After Hyannis (11-20-3) responded with a run in the seventh, the Whitecaps shortened their deficit from three to one, courtesy of a home run from Walker, making it an 8-7 ballgame.
“Today, I was just trying to stay relaxed, stay loose, not press to hard, and not try to do too much,” said Walker. “I got a couple good pitches to hit and I was able to drive one out of the yard and get our team back in it so I was thankful for that.”
The home run from Walker was his first homer of the season and part of a three-hit day, going 3-5 with the two runs batted in.
“Oh, it’s awesome. If you can have a coach’s support, it’s all a player can ask for,” Walker said about playing under coach Jamie Shevchik. “It makes you want to go out and play hard for him. I’m thankful that I have a coach that supports me no matter what, respects my game and appreciates my value and I just want to go out there and play as hard as I can and make him proud.”
Brewster finally tied the game in the eighth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly to right field from A.J. Graffanino (Washington), driving in Chandler Taylor (Alabama) from third base and knotting the game at eight.
In the ninth inning, it seemed as if Nick Dunn (Maryland) won the game for Brewster on a walk-off home run, but after some conferencing between the umpires it was determined that Dunn’s shot to center field was instead a ground-rule double.
This still left a prime opportunity for Brewster to win the game, however, with a runner in scoring position, just one out, and the middle of the order coming up.
However, after an intentional walk to Mickey Gasper (Bryant), back-to-back strikeouts of Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) and Taylor by Hyannis reliever Ethan Larrison (Indiana State) ended the game as the umpires ruled out extra-innings due to darkness.
“Every game counts from here on out,” Costes said. “It was big for us to not hang our heads today and comeback and make it a game there at the end.”
Before Brewster’s comeback, the Harbor Hawks scored at least run in four consecutive innings between the second and fifth frames.
Hyannis crossed two in the second on a Hunter Stovall (Mississippi State) double and a Hunter Stovall (Rice) single.
Then in the third, the Harbor Hawks extended their lead to 4-2 on a Robert Neustrom (Iowa) home run to right field.
One of the strangest plays of the season resulted in two more Hyannis runs in the top of the fourth.
With two runners on and two outs, Reece Hampton (UNC-Charlotte) lined a single to center field, easily scoring the first runner from second. However, Walker’s throw from center came into third and hit the second runner in the back as he slid head-first into third, ricocheting out of play and allowing the second run to come home. It was a perfect throw from Walker, but went in the scorebook as an error in an instance of bad luck for the Whitecaps and their centerfielder.
Hyannis tacked on their seventh run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brendan Donovan, giving the Harbor Hawks a 7-2 edge in the fifth.
The Whitecaps got their first two runs on a Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) home run to left. The two-run shot was the first long ball of the season for Infante and was the first of three home runs on the day for Brewster.
“It’s fun when you see those guys being able to contribute in that fashion,” Costes said about Walker and Infante’s home runs. “Steele, ever since he’s gotten back he’s been a big part for us and Julian has always been a big part for us so to see him leave the field it was fun for him. I saw it coming when I was on second base. He was so happy and that’s what it’s all about.”
With a combined sixteen runs crossing the plate in the game, the pitching for either team didn’t find much success.
For Brewster, starting pitcher Pauly Milto (Indiana) would give up six runs (four earned) in just four innings of work.
However, the Brewster relief trio of Jonathan Stiever (Indiana), Joe DeMers (Washington), and Sam Bordner (Louisville) combined to give up only two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings of work.
Bordner closed the game out for the Whitecaps with two perfect frames and a strikeout.
As for Hyannis, Jordan Martinson (Dallas Baptist) had a solid start, surrendering only two runs in five innings of work and striking out five.
In relief of Martinson, the trio of Davis Vainer (Alabama), Trysten Barlow (Mississippi State), Larrison failed to protect the team’s lead, as the three relievers combined to allow six runs (five earned) in four innings.
High-scoring affairs have been the norm for Hyannis pitchers all season, however, as the Harbor Hawks sport the highest team earned run average in the Cape League at an abysmal 5.65.
WHAT’S NEXT: All but four Whitecaps have a day off on Saturday with the CCBL All-Star Game being played at Spillane Field in Wareham at 6:05 pm. Gasper and Michael Curry (Georgia) are starting for the Eastern Division at first base and designated hitter, respectively. Robert Broom (Mercer) was selected as a member of the East's bullpen. Taylor is also getting in on the festivities as the slugger will participate in the Cape League Home Run Derby prior to the game.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Entering Thursday evening’s contest, the Brewster Whitecaps ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard amongst Cape League teams in errors committed and fielding percentage.
The Whitecaps’ numbers only got worse on Thursday, as Brewster (15-17-1) committed four errors on four consecutive plays in the top of the fifth inning, leading to a seven-run frame for the Orleans Firebirds (22-11) and an eventual 8-6 Orleans win that was called due to darkness after seven innings.
“It’s certainly a microcosm of our entire season, there’s no doubt about it,” said Whitecaps bench coach Tommy Weber, who filled in after coach Jamie Shevchik was ejected in the fourth inning. “We are working really hard. Every player on this club is working very, very hard to try and remedy this thing, but we just haven’t gotten around to it and tonight it reared its ugly head again and we gave them a game we should have had.”
The onslaught of errors from the Whitecaps began on an errant throw from Brewster second baseman Nick Dunn (Maryland), allowing Orleans center fielder Jimmy Herron (Duke) to advance to second.
Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) then reached on another Dunn error before Romy Gonzalez (Miami) lined a ball to center field which dropped for a single in front of Steele Walker (Oklahoma), but Walker lost his footing, allowing the ball to roll to the wall, scoring two, and going as the third Brewster error of the inning.
With the score now 6-3 Whitecaps and still nobody out in the inning, the miscues didn’t stop there.
Stephen Scott (Vanderbilt) hit a routine groundball to second, which Gonzalez would have scored on regardless, but Dunn booted it, allowing Scott to reach and going in the books as Dunn’s third error of the inning.
After a Steve Passatempo (UMass-Lowell) singled, Brewster went to its bullpen, calling on Will Tribucher (Michigan), who didn’t find much luck against a tough Firebirds lineup.
Four more Firebirds runs crossed the plate after Tribucher entered, including two on a pinch-hit Niko Decolati (Loyola Marymount) single.
All-in-all, Orleans scored seven runs in the inning, taking an 8-6 lead which they would hold.
While the Firebirds had their fair share of excitement in the fifth, there were plenty of fireworks earlier in the game.
The Whitecaps built their lead on a pair of Chandler Taylor (Alabama) home runs.
The first, a three-run shot to straightaway center field, put Brewster up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Then, Taylor launched his second blast, his seventh of the season which entered him into a three-way tie for the Cape League lead, to right, extending the Brewster lead to four in the fourth.
Brewster tacked on two more runs on a Dunn RBI-single and a Mickey Gasper (Bryant) bases loaded walk to make it 6-1 Whitecaps.
Tribucher (0-2) took the loss for the Whitecaps, allowing two runs (one earned) in an inning and two-thirds.
The southpaw took over for Bradley Spooner (Saddleback CC) on the mound, who made his second start for Brewster and pitched well, despite the team’s defensive shortcomings. Spooner lasted four-plus innings, giving up six runs, although just two were earned and struck out three.
“I felt good coming into it,” Spooner said. “I just needed to control all four of my pitches and you can’t really control the errors. I just tried to go out there and do my best.”
Robert Broom (Mercer) finished the game on the mound for Brewster, surrendering only one hit in an inning and a third and lowering his season earned run average to a stellar 0.44 mark.
“I think pitching is doing well enough at this point to win games, we just need to focus on making the smaller plays,” Spooner said.
On the bump for the Firebirds was righty Taylor Sugg (UNC). The Tar Heel had trouble with his command and gave up five runs over three innings, including the two home runs to Taylor.
Sugg was succeeded by the trio of Riley Thompson (Louisville), Parker Kelly (Oregon), and Jake Wong (Grand Canyon), who combined for four innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits.
Kelly (1-1) earned his first win of the season for coach Kelly Nicholson's squad.
Shevchik was ejected in the top of the fourth inning after arguing with home plate umpire Tim Carey. Shevchik claimed that Firebirds outfielder Brandon Riley (UNC) swung at a pitch in the dirt on a hit-and-run play in which Passatempo swiped second, but Carey did not call it a strike and would not convene with the rest of the umpiring crew to discuss it further.
“Once in a while you get umpires that are overly sensitive,” Weber said. “Sometimes I try to remind them that if you don’t bait guys, it’s just the sound of one hand clapping. If you don’t say something, the guy won’t come back and say something. Too many of these guys that are out here can’t resist the temptation to bait someone and I think they baited Jamie and I think they ran him early.”
Carey also issued a warning to the rest of the Whitecaps’ bench, as well as the Firebirds dugout.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps finish up their three-game home stand on Friday against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks before the All-Star Game on Saturday.
“It would mean a lot [to win on Friday],” said Weber. “It would kind of stop this snowball effect. Hopefully, what we’d really like to do is play a clean game. No errors, get out early and take a lead as we did tonight and not give it back by playing a tight game defensively. I think more than anything else, that’s really what we’re looking for is one clean game.”
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- Brewster Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik is typically one of the most optimistic and even-keeled managers you’ll find at any level.
Speaking after the Whitecaps’ 10-3 defeat at the hands of the Wareham Gatemen (15-15-1) on Wednesday, however, the frustration was evident in the coach’s voice.
“They’re not focused. They’re playing very complacent baseball,” the coach said. “It starts with the tempo in the first couple innings. You can tell. I knew right from inning number two that this was going to be a tough day. You can just feel it, and that goes with any game, hang around the dugout long enough and you can kind of figure out how the day is going to go based on the first two innings.”
Defensively, the game was a major struggle for the Whitecaps (15-16-1) as Brewster committed three errors in the game, all charged to second baseman Christian Molfetta (Stanford).
“We have got to come out and play good defense. That’s what we’ve been struggling with all year, really,” said Whitecaps catcher Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb). “We can’t give up three errors in a game like that, so that’s tough.”
“We were really low energy and set the bad tone right from the beginning, right from the first inning,” said Shevchik.
This put Brewster starter Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) in a tough spot, as the righty surrendered four runs over four innings, although just two were earned.
Molettiere left the game after Gatemen two-way star Tanner Dodson (California) singled home outfielder Steven Kwan (Oregon State) in the top of the fifth, extending Wareham’s lead to 3-0.
Shevchik turned to Drew Reveno (St. Louis), who was making his Whitecaps debut.
Wareham crossed their fourth run on a steal of home from Dodson, who scored from third on a Mickey Gasper (Bryant) throw down to second to try and catch Gatemen catcher Willie MacIver (Washington) stealing.
Wareham continued to pour it on with a pair of RBI-singles in the top of the seventh by Kyle Kasser (Oregon) and Tristan Pompey (Kentucky), extending the Gatemen lead to seven.
After Brewster scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the eighth on a Darius Hill (West Virginia) double down the right field line that scored Nick Dunn (Maryland), Wareham responded with four more runs in the top of the ninth.
Dodson homered to lead off the inning, then a Jarren Duran (Long Beach State) ground-rule double brought home Wareham’s eighth run before Blake Sabol (USC) delivered the final blow with a two-run single.
What is typically a stellar Brewster bullpen struggled on Wednesday. Reveno found success early, but wore as his outing progressed, eventually leaving with a final line of three innings, two runs allowed, one walk, and four strikeouts.
The right-hander was relieved by Stephen Jones (Samford), who gave up four runs over two innings on five hits and did not strike out a batter.
“They came in already behind the eight ball. It’s hard to come in out of the bullpen when there’s not a lot of effort behind you and they’re kicking the ball all over the place,” Shevchik said. ”That’s a tough position to be in. I know if I’m sitting back there I don’t want my name called. I don’t want to come in here and have to throw with guys kicking the ball around and no energy in the dugout. So it’s a really tough spot for a reliever to come in in that situation so it’s definitely not their fault.”
While Wareham crossed the plate seemingly at will, Brewster’s offense failed to get anything going against Gatemen pitching.
Wareham starter Mason Feole (UConn) held the Whitecaps to just one hit over five innings of work, before being relieved by a pair of all-stars in Justin Montgomery (California Baptist) and Griffin Roberts (Wake Forest).
The pair combined for three innings of relief, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out five.
After the newly re-activated Steele Walker (Oklahoma) singled with one out in the bottom of the first, Brewster was held without a baserunner until Dunn led off the eighth with a double.
The Whitecaps finished with just five hits on the day, with four of them and all three of their runs coming in the final two frames.
“There was no offense,” Shevchik said. “It was a bad feeling in the dugout today. It’s almost like some guys just didn’t want to be here. I don’t know if it’s just getting to be that time of the year where it’s getting towards the end of July where guys are tired or they’re broken down a little bit but it’s getting tough. “
“Some of these guys have to do some serious soul searching here and step it up a notch because I think it’s a big disservice to the ball club and their teammates too. We’ve got to be better in every facet of the game, that’s no question.”
Brewster got their final two runs on Kunz’s third home run of the season with one out in the ninth.
“He just hung me a first pitch slider that I took down and away and I was just cheating the fastball,” Kunz said. “I got my head out there and took a hack at it.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster takes on the first-place Orleans Firebirds in an Eastern Division matchup Thursday at Stony Brook Field.
“We’re not going to motivate to play against Orleans,” said Shevchik. “We’re going to try to do what we can to motivate them to stick around here the next two weeks of good baseball because that’s what matters. This organization has been too good to these kids and they’ve worked too hard for guys to start quitting on them and we’re not going to let that happen.”
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Aodhán Doyle
CHATHAM, MA- With one swing of the bat, Chatham Anglers designated hitter Shea Langeliers (Baylor) hammered the final nail in the Brewster Whitecaps’ coffin on Tuesday night at a foggy Veteran’s Field.
After Brewster (15-15-1) scored two runs in the top of the eighth to cut the Chatham (16-15) lead to 4-3, Langeliers hammered a hanging breaking ball over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season, swinging the momentum back in favor of the Anglers and giving them a 5-3 edge they would hold.
Sloppy play dug Brewster into a hole they could not find a way out of. The Whitecaps committed two errors in the game’s first four plays, allowing two unearned runs to cross the plate in the bottom of the first.
Then, in the bottom of the second, small ball extended the Chatham’s lead over Brewster. After a leadoff single to right, back-to-back Anglers hitters tried to lay down sacrifice bunts and both turned into bunt singles, loading the bases with nobody out.
Brewster starter Tony Locey (Georgia) would induce a double play four pitches later, but Chatham shortstop Jeremy Pena (Maine) scored on the play, giving Chatham a 3-0 lead.
“[Locey’s] performance was pretty good,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “Defensively, we were awful. We put him in a hole, he gave up two unearned in the first inning. Your defense has to have your back as a pitcher, that’s why they’re there. There’s too much pressure being put on our pitching staff because we can’t field the baseball.”
Brewster began to rally in the eighth, scoring two runs off Anglers reliever Reiss Knehr (Fordham).
Mickey Gasper (Bryant) led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Knehr’s second wild pitch of the inning.
Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) then singled, advancing Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) to third base before Bishop scored on a Nick Dunn (Maryland) RBI-groundout, making it a 4-3 ballgame in the 8th before Langeliers’ home run in the bottom of the frame put the game out of reach.
While their pitching staff’s shutout streak ended in the top of the third inning when Chandler Taylor (Alabama) came home on an error, Chatham’s win leapfrogged them in the standings over Brewster, moving the Anglers into sole possession of third place in the Eastern Division.
“At this point we’ve got to play better than .500 baseball,” said Shevchik. “With two weeks to go, we’ve got to keep our head above water. The goal is to get into the playoffs. I don’t care whether we finish 1st or 4th, the goal is to get in because when you get in you’ve got a shot.”
Chatham starter Jacob Stevens (Boston College) tossed four innings of one-run ball (zero earned), while striking out four.
Daniel Metzdorf (Boston College) followed up his starter with three shutout innings of his own, earning his third win and lowering his season ERA to 2.13.
Locey (2-2) took the loss for Whitecaps, despite throwing five innings, striking out four, and allowing just two earned runs.
Offensively the Whitecaps’ trio of Gasper, Infante, and Dunn, who extended his hitting streak to seven games, combined to go 6-11 witth a run scored and an RBI, but the rest of the team managed just two hits and two walks.
“Just sticking to my approach,” said Dunn about what he credits for his recent success. “Just being selective at the plate and waiting for a pitch I can drive.”
“Other than Mickey, there aren’t a whole lot of guys that are forcing me to keep them in the lineup on a regular basis every single day,” Shevchik said. “If that’s not going to happen, we’re just going to have to keep juggling up the lineup for the last two weeks.
The Whitecaps are expected to receive a boost offensively, however, as Steele Walker (Oklahoma) was activated by the team following Tuesday’s game.
Walker appeared in three games earlier in the season for Brewster before playing for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team where he batted .333 in 20 games and clubbed two home runs and led the team with 24 hits, 37 total bases, and eight extra-base hits.
“We just have to forget about tonight,” Dunn said. “Come back tomorrow and have good at-bats as an offense and play solid defense and we’ll be alright.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster returns to Stony Brook Field to take on the Wareham Gatemen on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
By: Aodhán Doyle
BREWSTER, MA- If you ask Brewster Whitecaps outfielder Marty Costes (Maryland), he’ll say he’s not a clutch player, but on Sunday night at Stony Brook Field, Costes was the living embodiment of the word.
With the Whitecaps trailing the Harwich Mariners 10-8 and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Costes took the first pitch he saw from Harwich reliever Logan Browning (Florida Southern) and crushed it over the left field fence for a three-run home run, giving Brewster an 11-10 edge that they would hold until the game was called after eight innings due to darkness.
“I knew that guy was trying to get ahead of me and I knew I wasn’t in take mode," Costes said. "A couple of at-bats before I flew out on the first pitch but I felt like I just missed it and if I got that pitch again I wasn’t going to miss.”
The home run was Costes’ fourth of the season and was the final, improbable moment in a Whitecaps comeback that two-thirds of the way through the game looked impossible.
“This one’s special,” Costes added. “I feel all of them are special, I don’t take anything for granted. This game is hard enough. I definitely think being clutch is a sweet thing, and I don’t do that often.”
“The game can get a little fast, but you’ve just got to relax. That’s something I’ve had to learn. This is the first time for me, pinch-hitting and things like that. One thing I did was pay attention during the game, especially to the strike zone and different guys coming in.”
As the game moved to the seventh inning stretch, Brewster (15-14-1), trailing Harwich (10-18-1) 10-2, was on its fifth pitcher, had committed three errors, and had subbed out six of the nine starting position players.
“It was amazing. To empty the bench and put in eight new guys and come back with an eight-run deficit and win the game literally on a walk-off home run, for the most part, ranks up in the top five things I’ve ever been a part of,” said Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik.
For six innings, Mariners starter Tyler Baum (UNC) held the Whitecaps’ offense to just two runs and five hits, but when Harwich manager Steve Englert went to his bullpen, the Whitecaps’ offense began to click.
Brewster loaded the bases with one out in the seventh off Tim Herrin (Indiana), who then proceeded to walk Devin Foyle (Kansas), concede a single to Mickey Gasper (Bryant), and walk Christian Molfetta (Stanford) before exiting with the bases still loaded and the score 10-5 Mariners.
New Harwich arm Cullen Dana (Seton Hall) didn’t fare any better, walking Costes to bring home another run and throwing two balls to Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) before being pulled in favor of Theodore Rodliff (Stony Brook).
“When somebody’s constantly out of the strike zone, we need to do exactly what we did today and that’s take a lot of pitches and that got us back in this game,” said Shevchik.
Rodliff, inheriting the 2-0 count couldn’t bounce back, walking Infante to bring home the fifth run of the inning for the Whitecaps, the third via a bases loaded walk, before retiring the final two batters of the inning.
Despite the five-run frame, Brewster still had work to do in the eighth with the sun setting rapidly and Harwich still leading by three.
“It’s really huge. We didn’t quit on each other and we’re going to ride that momentum more than just beating Harwich,” said Gasper. “We knew we came in and had to do that, but we know we’ve got a little more fight in us than a lot of people believe, so we just stuck with it and that’s a good team win, and we’re going to ride it.”
With Rodliff still on the mound, it was more of the same, as the Harwich lefty walked the leadoff man before hitting Michael Curry (Georgia) and Foyle back-to-back, loading the bases once again with nobody out.
Rodliff struck out Gasper for the first out before Browning (0-1) entered and Molfetta hit a sacrifice fly, cutting the Harwich lead to two and setting the stage for Costes.
“It was a lot of the guys still wanting to play and not giving up on each other,” Gasper said. “It was just more of a team effort to stay in the game and not give up hope. We know we have a deep lineup and at any time we can strike. We stuck with it and we ended up getting it done.”
Brewster got their first two runs of the game in the bottom of the third when Gasper homered to right field. At the time, Gasper’s fifth home run of the season tied the game at two and were the only two runs before the nine put up by Brewster in the seventh and eighth.
“It was pretty similar to my at-bat last night,” Gasper said. “They started me off with a fastball and then they went to the curveball. Last night I missed it and flew out to left field, but today I was just ready for that breaking ball, I was on time and put a good swing on it and it just happened to get out of there.”
“It went from five innings of me preparing my post-game speech of stuff I probably can’t say right now to one of the best things I’ve ever seen in baseball,” Shevchik laughed.
After Brewster’s initial rally in the bottom of the seventh, it appeared as though Harwich was on the track to respond. The Mariners led off the eighth with consecutive singles, but Shevchik turned to Stephen Jones (Samford) who retired the next three batters in order, halting the Harwich response and earning the win.
“He’s making a name for himself and he’s putting his name into our lineup card as a guy who we can go to in a tight situation,” Shevchik said about Jones. “We’ve lost some of those guys along the way but to add Stephen into that mix, that’s big for the back end of our bullpen.”
Before the game, Shevchik said “all hands [were] on-deck” in the bullpen for the game against the Mariners, but not even he could have foreseen the predicament he and his team would find themselves in.
After surrendering a run in the top of the first, Brewster starter Davis Daniel (Auburn) was removed from the game with arm discomfort.
“He had some discomfort in his arm so we certainly weren't going to run him back out there,” said Shevchik.
This put an already tired bullpen in a tough situation, having to carry the pitching staff the rest of the way.
The combination of Will Tribucher (Michigan), Joe Molettiere (Monmouth), Sam Bordner (Louisville), Matt Beck (LSU), and Jones (1-0) took Brewster the rest of the way, giving up nine runs (six earned) while striking out just one.
“It literally was all hands on deck in the bullpen today,” Shevchik said. “I give those guys a lot of credit.”
Bordner gave up his first two earned runs of the season, while just one of the four runs charged to Molettiere was earned after Brewster committed three errors in the top of the fifth.
Offensively, Costes finished his day with four RBI while Gasper went 2-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, surpassing Cotuit’s Griffin Conine (Duke) for the league lead with 25.
“I’m just trying to get that run in for our team,” said Gasper. “When I see people on base, I just try and shorten up, do my job, and drive them in for the boys.”
“Tomorrow’s day off could have been really miserable but to get this W is going to make it a lot better,” Shevchik added.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps have Monday off before traveling to Veteran’s Field to take on the red-hot Chatham Anglers on Tuesday. The Anglers have not allowed a run in their last 28 innings, resulting in three straight wins and only trail Brewster by one point in the Eastern Division standings. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
ORLEANS, MA- For the second consecutive game, the Brewster Whitecaps managed four or fewer hits in an eventual loss to an Eastern Division opponent.
On a picture-perfect night at Eldredge Park, the Whitecaps (15-15-1) fell to the Orleans Firebirds (18-10) by a final score of 4-2.
“We’ve just got to keep our head down and keep going,” said Brewster reliever Joe DeMers (Washington). “We’ve been playing good ball and things will start to go our way.”
After second baseman Nick Dunn (Maryland) singled with one out in the fifth, Brewster would fail to find another baserunner, with their last fourteen batters being retired in order.
“That was, in my opinion, in this ballpark, the best offensive lineup we could’ve put out there today,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “We just didn’t hit. We have some things to figure out.”
All four of Brewster’s hits were singles that fell between the third and fifth innings.
On the mound for the Firebirds was Chandler Day (Vanderbilt), who struggled with command and walked five over three-plus innings, surrendering two earned runs.
After Day, however, Orleans’ bullpen was nearly unhittable, with Brooks Wilson (Stetson), Jake Wong (Grand Canyon), and Josh Hiatt (UNC), combining for six innings of shutout relief and allowing just two hits.
Wilson (1-0) picked up the victory for Orleans, while Hiatt recorded his seventh save.
The game became easier for the Orleans pitching staff thanks to the early lead provided by the Firebirds offense.
Orleans scored three runs in the bottom of the first, none of which crossed the plate on hits.
Jimmy Herron (Duke) scored first on a passed ball, then Niko Decolati (Loyola-Marymount) followed on a sacrifice fly, before Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) scored on a Brewster error.
Romy Gonzalez (Miami-FL) provided the fourth and final run for coach Kelly Nicholson’s squad courtesy of an opposite-field home run to right-center.
Brewster’s offense only found success in the fourth inning, scoring both of their runs in the frame.
A Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) walk loaded the bases for Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) and the second-year Whitecap delivered with an RBI-single to center field, shrinking Orleans’ lead to 4-1.
Marty Costes (Maryland) followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center, scoring Kyle Datres (UNC) and cutting the Brewster deficit in half.
Ryan Avidano (Georgia) got the start for Brewster, but didn’t look quite as sharp as he had in previous outings.
The southpaw allowed four runs (three earned) over four innings, striking out and walking three in what was his first loss of the season.
If there was a bright spot on the mound for the Whitecaps, it was the bullpen.
DeMers, who relieved Avidano (1-1) in the bottom of the fifth, did not surrender a run over three innings, giving up just two hits and striking out four.
“The fastball was coming out well and I was getting the curveball over so that was huge,” DeMers said. “I was just trying to throw in the zone today.”
Stephen Jones (Samford) made his Cape League debut in the 8th for the Whitecaps. The newly-activated righty tossed a perfect frame and picked up his first strikeout.
“I liked him. He had some pretty good velocity and I think he can help us,” Shevchik said. “That’s a welcome addition and I think he got here right in the right time. He did exactly what we needed him to do.”
Earlier in the day the Cape League announced its All-Star rosters and the participants of the league’s home run derby.
Brewster had three all-stars, including two starters. Designated hitter Michael Curry (Georgia), first baseman Mickey Gasper (Bryant), and reliever Robert Broom (Mercer) all made the roster while Chandler Taylor (Alabama) was selected to participate in the derby.
As for Orleans, the Firebirds had a league-leading eight all-star selections and two home run derby participants.
Decolati, Gonzalez, Paul, Ryan Rollison (Ole Miss), Daniel Lynch (Virginia), Logan Gilbert (Stetson), and Joey Murray (Kent State) all made the team while Gonzalez and Stephen Scott (Vanderbilt) will vie for the home run hitting crown.
“It is a must win,” Shevchik said about Brewster’s game on Sunday. “Especially with a day off the next day, it’s all-hands-on-deck tomorrow. At this point in the season, tomorrow is a must win.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster heads back home to take on the Harwich Mariners on Sunday at Stony Brook Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.