By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- In the final game of a stretch in which the Brewster Whitecaps played 17 games in 16 days, Brewster put together arguably its most complete offensive performance of the season on Wednesday night. The Whitecaps took down the visiting Harwich Mariners 7-3, completing a home-and-home sweep of the last-place Mariners.
It was truly a complete offensive performance, as every hitter in the Brewster lineup collected at least one hit. Perhaps what was most incredible was that all twelve of the team’s hits were singles and seven of the nine hitters scored a run.
“It’s contagious. There’s a lot of confidence out there playing today,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “There was just a different vibe in the dugout today.”
“It’s huge,” said Brewster outfielder Darius Hill (West Virginia). “Before these last couple games against Harwich we were really struggling offensively. Just to get going offensively against these guys will help us going into the rest of the season.”
After each team scored a run in the first inning, Shevchik got production from the bottom of his lineup, with Hill really getting the offense going in the bottom of the second with a two-run single to center, giving the Whitecaps a lead they would never relent.
“When there’s guys that are in scoring position I just put my mind to it and I say I need to get this guy in and get some runs on the board and help us win the game,” said Hill.
Hill would later score on a single from Kyle Datres (UNC), extending the Brewster lead to 4-2.
Mickey Gasper (Bryant) brought home another run in the bottom of the second on a single to center, making it 5-2 Whitecaps through two innings.
Then, the very next inning, Christian Molfetta (Stanford) scored Nick Dunn (Maryland) from second for his fourth RBI of the season.
In what Shevchik called his second-to-last appearance this summer due to an innings limit, Whitecaps starter J.R. McDermott (Colorado-Mesa) was stellar once again, picking up his second win of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.01, which ranks fourth-best in the Cape League this season.
McDermott finished his day after five innings, surrendering two runs (one earned), while striking out three.
“He’s been great. He’s a Division II kid. He’s the underdog and he came out here with something to prove, pitched with a bit of a chip on his shoulder,” said Shevchik on McDermott. “It’s going to be tough to see him go. Hopefully we can get one more good start out of him and he can leave here with probably one of the best experiences of his life.”
Following McDermott, the Brewster bullpen held a struggling Mariners offense to just two hits and one run over four innings. Will Tribucher (Michigan), Joe Molettiere (Monmouth), Ryan Avidano (Georgia), and Sam Bordner (Louisville) combined for four innings of just two-hit ball, while striking out three to secure Brewster’s tenth victory of the season.
“Can’t wait for the day off tomorrow. I need a day off tomorrow, I know our guys need a day off tomorrow,” said Shevchik. “It gives us a chance to kind of reset and rebuild our bullpen. We’ve got two guys who are coming in here in the next couple of days, two more arms, so it’s going to be a relief. For us it’s going to feel like a fresh season come Friday.”
Shevchik said he plans on spending his off day at the beach, while Hill also has a nautical idea.
“I’m going out on the boat with my host family,” Hill said. “I can’t wait, I’m so excited.”
Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) brought in Brewster’s first run of the game with an RBI-single, tying the game at one in the bottom of the first.
On the bump for the Mariners was righty Christopher Gau (Jacksonville) who kept with what has been a common theme for a Harwich team that ranks eighth in the league in ERA, giving up six runs in just four innings of work.
The win was also a special one for Shevchik, as the Brewster manager picked up his 50th career victory as the Whitecaps’ coach. The 2017 season is Shevchik’s third as head coach of the Whitecaps.
“It’s been awesome,” Shevchik said, smiling. “Anybody asks me and I say it’s one of the greatest jobs in the world.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps have a day off on Thursday before traveling to Spillane Field in Wareham on Friday to take on the second-place Gatemen. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
By: Aodhán Doyle
HARWICH, MA- The Brewster Whitecaps looked like they were headed for a fifth consecutive loss after two innings at Whitehouse Field, trailing 4-2 and victims of the same fielding woes that have plagued the team all season. Instead, however, the Whitecaps came back, snapping a four-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.
With Independence Day fireworks filling the night sky in the distance, Kyle Datres (UNC) delivered the go-ahead blow in the eighth inning, an RBI-single to right field and the Whitecaps (9-10-1) held on to defeat the Harwich Mariners (7-12-1) 7-6 on Tuesday.
“It’s huge. We lose a game today and then our backs are against the wall going into tomorrow and then an off day the next day,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “Getting the win today kind of eases the tension a little bit, especially playing Harwich. They’re below us in the standings so tomorrow, we know what they have.”
Entering the eighth inning knotted at six, Brewster loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to two walks and a single. Datres, who reached in all five of his plate appearances, then looped a 1-2 breaking ball from Cole Aker (UNC) over Harwich second baseman Cobie Vance’s (Alabama) head.
“I was just saying, 'Get down! Get down! Get down!'” said Datres. “Any way the ball gets in, I’ll take it.”
“I was actually facing Cole Aker from North Carolina, so I kind of knew what he had going into the at-bat. Tough guy, throws hard, good slider. I just fouled off a couple sliders there, and was able to loop one in behind the second baseman and the winning run scored.”
Sam Bordner (Louisville) and Robert Broom (Mercer) closed the game out for the Whitecaps, each pitching an inning.
In the ninth, Harwich got the tying run ninety feet away against Broom, but the right-hander struck out Mariners’ designated hitter Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) looking to secure the Brewster victory.
“My exact words to Broom and the infield were, 'if they try and do anything crazy with the runner at first base let him go,'” said Shevchik about his ninth inning mound visit. “Let the guy go to second base, I don’t care if he’s the winning run, we’re going to put the ball into Robert Broom’s hands and he’s going to get us the win.”
Brewster received what, at the time, they believed would be the biggest hit of the game for them in the top of the sixth inning when Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run single to left field. The liner scored Datres and Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb), giving Brewster the 6-4 advantage.
“He’s a guy we’re going to really rely on too,” said Shevchik of Infante. “If we’re going to be any good, guys like Julian Infante, Nick Dunn, Zack Gahagan are going to have to get it going. They’re going to be a big part of what we’re doing.”
Harwich would respond, however, getting two runs off Brewster reliever Jonathan Stiever (Indiana) in the bottom of the seventh and, once again, evening the score.
Stiever (2-1) would eventually earn the win for the Whitecaps despite giving up two runs in two innings while striking out only one.
Tony Locey (Georgia) got the start for the Whitecaps, earning a no-decision after tossing five innings of three-hit ball, giving up four runs (three earned) and striking out five.
Locey was initially scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against the Mariners, but was pushed up when Shevchik had to bring in J.R. McDermott (Tuesday’s initially scheduled starter) in relief on Sunday in Orleans.
The only trouble Locey ran into was in the bottom of the second, when four Harwich runs crossed the plate. Locey walked the first two batters of the inning, while the first run scored on an error by Brewster shortstop Connor Smith (Western Michigan). Singles by Nick Dalesandro (Purdue) and Andrew Moritz (UNC-Greensboro) would bring home another three runs, giving Harwich a 4-2 lead.
Locey rebounded nicely, however, finishing his outing with three scoreless frames despite not having his best control all evening.
“He had the one bad inning, but I was really pleased with that he wanted to go back out there and threw the next two innings without giving up any runs and went back to being himself and painting the strike zone,” said Shevchik. “The two walks and then we had an error, it was a disaster of an inning. He could’ve folded up and came out, but he wanted to go back out for a little bit of redemption so I tip my hat to him.”
The Whitecaps got out to an initial 2-0 lead courtesy of a Jake Billingsley (Miss. State) wild pitch and a Darius Hill (West Virginia) RBI-groundout.
After Harwich took the lead, Brewster answered in the top of the third on a long Chandler Taylor (Alabama) home run to right and a Nick Dunn (Maryland) RBI-single.
Jamie Sara (William and Mary) (0-1) took the loss for the Mariners, while Broom earned his second save for the Whitecaps.
After being held to a combined six hits in their previous two games, the Brewster offense had nine hits coming from seven different hitters.
“We just got on base. People on base and making things happen, opened up holes for the other guys,” said Datres. “We were just more consistent throughout the entire night and it paid off for us.”
Taylor finished his day at the plate 2-4 with a walk, and his fourth home run of the season, giving him sole possession of the team’s lead.
The game, which lasted an incredible three hours and fifty-three minutes, was the longest of the season for any team in the Cape League, regardless of number of innings played.
WHAT’S NEXT: The two Eastern Division rivals face off again on Wednesday at Stony Brook Field in Brewster. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA - After completing a home-and-home series on Monday evening, the Brewster Whitecaps and Orleans Firebirds seem to be teams headed in opposite directions.
Orleans (13-6) took down Brewster (8-10-1) 3-0 at Stony Brook Field to win their ninth consecutive contest, while coach Jamie Shevchik’s Whitecaps dropped their fourth consecutive game.
“When you lose three or four, it’s hard to get back in the win column, you feel like you’re drowning,” said Shevchik. “I feel bad for them, this is a long stretch. Nobody should have to go through fifteen straight days of playing baseball without a day off.”
“They’ve got to will their way into playing better baseball and a lot of things have to align. The pitching has got to be there and we’ve got to get some hits and score runs when we need to.”
For the second game in a row, the Whitecaps were held to just three hits by Orleans pitching, but this time it was Firebirds lefty Daniel Lynch (Virginia) (3-0) who shut down the Brewster offense, giving up just one hit in five innings of work.
“We’ve faced some good arms recently and we’ve just run into a little fall here but I feel like we’re going have some good energy tomorrow and come out and get a win,” said Brewster starter Connor Higgins (Arizona State).
Brewster didn’t pick up their first hit until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Chandler Taylor (Alabama) executed a drag bunt perfectly down the first base line, as it eventually rolled all 90 feet before hitting first base.
Only five Whitecaps reached base in the game, with two coming in the ninth inning before Brewster slugger Mickey Gasper (Bryant) was caught stealing second with two outs to end the game.
“Don’t ask me about that, I have no idea what he was thinking,” Shevchik said, shaking his head. “Chandler Taylor up and Julian Infante on deck, that was just stupid baseball.”
On a day where hitting was at a premium, the Firebirds took advantage and crossed their first run in the first inning.
Niko Decolati (Loyola Marymount) brought home Lars Nootbaar (USC) on a groundout to third after Nootbaar tripled to right-center.
Higgins (1-2) settled in nicely after the first, holding Orleans scoreless until the fifth, when Decolati brought home Orleans’ second run on a single.
Higgins, who took the loss despite tossing five innings of two-run ball and not walking a batter, induced a groundball double play to end the fifth, but that would end his outing.
“I wasn’t really looking for that strikeout pitch,” Higgins said. “I was kind of looking to pitch to contact, just have them put the ball in play. I threw a lot of fastballs tonight trying to get that soft contact and have them put the ball in play.”
“He needs to pitch to contact. In this league, you have to make the plays behind him,” Shevchik said. “Today was probably his best pitched game and that’s the way he needs to be.”
The Whitecaps also committed three errors in the game, though none resulted in any Orleans runs. Brewster ranks last in the Cape League in fielding percentage at .959.
“We’re in a little funk right now but these guys, I trust them,” said Higgins. “This is probably one of the best infields I’ve ever played with. We’ve just got to keep pressing. These guys are great players, we’re just in a bit of a funk right now.”
Orleans’ final run came across in the sixth inning off Brewster reliever Joe DeMers (Washington). The run, which scored on an Austin Hale (Stetson) single, was the first earned run DeMers had surrendered all season,
Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) made his season debut for the Whitecaps, starting at first base and finishing the day 0-3. Infante played for the Whitecaps in 2016 and finished 2nd on the Commodores in average this year at .315.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster travels to Whitehouse Field to take on the Harwich Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
By: Maura Sheridan
The Whitecaps bullpen allowed zero runs and just one hit over three and two-thirds innings, but Brewster failed to secure a win on the road at Eldredge Park.
The 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Firebirds is the latest in a three-game skid for the Whitecaps (8-9-1). Meanwhile, the Firebirds (12-6) continued their eight-game winning streak and remain atop the East Division by three points.
Pauly Milto (Indiana) entered the game for Brewster with one out in the fourth inning with his team trailing 5-1. The right-handed hurler tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings while walking just one and striking out two.
It was Milto’s third appearance in five days, including back-to-back outings after the righty threw an inning and a third on Saturday.
“I’m just doing what coach told me to do,” said Milto after the game at Eldredge Park. “He told me he needed me, so I did what I had to.”
J.R. McDermott (Colorado-Mesa) followed Milto’s lead, giving up just one hit and no runs in the eighth.
Brewster got out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a Marty Costes (Maryland) RBI-double that brought home Connor Smith (Western Michigan).
Orleans was quick to respond, however. Firebirds right fielder Niko Decolati (Loyola Marymount) roped a double of his own to bring in leadoff hitter Jimmy Herron (Duke) and knot the game at one after one inning.
That tie ended in the bottom of the third, though, as the Orleans bats ignited. Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) started things off for the Firebirds with an RBI single, followed by a sacrifice fly from Brandon Riley (UNC-Chapel Hill) that made the score 3-1. Jaxx Groshans’ (Kansas) single would bring home Cesar Salazar (Arizona) and Stephen Scott (Vanderbilt) to put the ‘Birds up 5-1.
The damage had been done and Brewster could not find their way back into the game. The ‘Caps lone hit after the first inning came on a Kyle Datres (UNC-Chapel Hill) triple in the eighth.
“We didn’t have a lot of hard hit balls,” said Coach Jaimie Shevchik. “Guys are going to have to start stepping up.”
Davis Daniel (1-1) took the loss for Brewster going 4 1/3 and giving up eight hits, five runs, and walking three with just one strikeout.
Orleans lefty Ryan Rolison (2-0) earned the win for his team, recording nine K’s in five innings pitched.
After struggling early with his fastball command, Rolison recovered nicely, using a sharp breaking ball and an improved heater to shut down Brewster’s offense.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Whitecaps are back against the Orleans Firebirds again Monday this time at Stony Brook Field. Fans can listen online on the team's YouTube channel.
By: Carter Woodiel
It was the debut Whitecaps fans were waiting for, but it didn't go quite as expected.
Sam Bordner, hair still bleached blond from his trip with Louisville to this year's College World Series, retired the first seven hitters he faced after entering Brewster's game with Yarmouth-Dennis in the fifth inning. But he would run into trouble in the seventh, eventually taking the loss in a 7-4 defeat to the Red Sox.
"These are good hitters here." Border said after the game. "So I just need to execute a little more, execute better, and pretty much put it in the back of my mind and move on."
With the loss, Brewster falls back to .500 with a record of 8-8-1. The Red Sox (10-6-1) are a half-game back of Orleans for first place in the East division.
Brewster got on the board first with an RBI single from Mickey Gasper in the bottom of the first. It was Gasper's 18th RBI of the season, putting him one shy of Falmouth's Marty Bechina (Michigan State) for the league lead.
Brewster added two more runs in the second, when Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb) hit an RBI double and Christian Molfetta (Stanford) drove Kunz in with a sacrifice fly.
Y-D would tie the game in the third off Brewster starter Joe Molettiere (Monmouth) who gave up three runs (two earned) off eight hits in four-plus innings of work.
The first run scored after an Alfonso Rivas (Arizona) ground ball knocked off the glove of Brewster second baseman Christian Molfetta (Stanford), allowing Alex McKenna (Cal Poly) to come in from first on the error.
An RBI double from Cortes, an RBI single from Kole Cottam (Kentucky), and a fielders' choice from Nico Hoerner (Stanford) gave the Red Sox a 7-3 lead.
In all, Bordner pitched 2 2/3 innings Saturday, giving up four runs (two earned) while striking out four and walking none. He had given up only two earned runs all spring with Louisville.
Red Sox starter John Rooney (Hofstra) threw six innings of three-run ball while giving up 8 hits. He got the win, moving to 1-1 on the season.
Three of the seven runs Brewster allowed in the game were unearned. Whitecaps pitching has given up 22 unearned runs this season, which is second in the CCBL. They have also committed a league-leading 22 errors, including two from Molfetta on Saturday.
"We lost this game because we couldn't field the ball -- that's the reason," Whitecaps head coach Jamie Shevchik said.
"When Sam [Bordner] came in to pitch we were in the right spot for him. He should have never given up those runs at all," he added. "We should have bailed him out."
Brewster mounted a comeback in the eighth inning, in a do-or-die situation as darkness cancelled the ninth.
Marty Costes hit a solo home run, his third homer of the year, and the Whitecaps brought the tying run to the plate. But Red Sox manager Scott Pickler called on closer Riley McCauley (Michigan State) who struck out Kunz to end the game. It was McCauley's 6th save of the year.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Whitecaps are back in action on Sunday against the Orleans Firebirds from Eldredge Park. The Firebirds have won seven games in a row and lead the East division. Fans can listen online on the team's YouTube channel.
By: Aodhán Doyle
BREWSTER, MA- Brewster Whitecaps right-handed pitcher Jonathan Stiever (Indiana) throws a lot of strikes. In fact, before Friday’s game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, Brewster manager Jamie Shevchik said sometimes he might throw a few too many.
“He throws a ton of strikes,” said Shevchik before the game. “Where he’s going to get hurt is when he throws too many strikes.”
That seemed to be the case against Hyannis as Stiever (1-1) took the loss for the Whitecaps (8-7-1), who fell 8-3 to the Harbor Hawks (7-8-1) at Stony Brook Field.
Stiever lasted just four innings, surrendering six earned runs while allowing ten Harbor Hawk hits.
“He was around the zone. Hitters are very comfortable in the box against Stiever,” said Shevchik. “I think what he needs to do is, he needs to learn how to locate some of those pitches when he gets ahead in the count outside of the strike zone and get guys to chase a bit. It’s something he needs to work on.”
As expected, Stiever pounded the strike zone, with 47 of his 63 pitches going for strikes, but too many found the heart of the plate and were squared up by Harbor Hawk hitters.
It was a balanced Hyannis offense, with seven different hitters with a run batted in and every batter recording at least one hit.
Entering the fifth inning, it was just a one-run game with Hyannis leading 4-3. Four pitches later, however, Hyannis was up 6-3 courtesy of back-to-back home runs by Micah Coffey (Minnesota) and Daniel Robinson (Central Michigan).
“Today we kind of came out slow and they jumped on us,” said Zack Gahagan (UNC). “We’ve just got to be better and come here tomorrow and be ready.”
Whitecaps pitchers allowed a season-high 16 hits in the game.
“There was some pressure on us. We were just constantly in a hole,” Shevchik said. “We had opportunities to score runs and just couldn’t capitalize. It felt like we were fighting an uphill battle today.”
After initially falling behind 3-0 after two innings, the Whitecaps battled back in a third inning in which they sent eight men to the plate. Mickey Gasper (Bryant), Hunter Bishop (Arizona State), and Michael Curry (Georgia) all picked up RBI-singles that tied the game at three.
Brewster threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out, but a double play followed by a lineout allowed Hyannis to escape unscathed.
Brester left twelve runners on base in the game, continuing a trend that has been an issue for the team all season.
“We felt a little lethargic it looked like,” said Shevchik. “I don’t know if the long stretch of games is getting to them…we’re not even in July yet and we still have a long way to go. Fighting through all of that is going to be a challenge.”
The Whitecaps found success off Hyannis starter Brooks Crawford (Clemson), who left the game with two runners on and nobody out in the fourth, but the Hyannis bullpen trio of Chase Haney (Florida State), Nick Sandlin (So. Mississippi), and Ryan Weiss (Wright State) shut down the Brewster offense, combining for six innings of scoreless ball.
Ryan Avidano (Georgia) relieved Stiever and kept the Harbor Hawks at bay. Avidano threw five innings of relief, allowing just one earned run while striking out six.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster takes on Yarmouth-Dennis at 5 p.m. on Saturday. It’s the Whitecaps’ fourth consecutive home game and fans can tune in on Lower Cape TV Channel 99 or live on the Whitecaps' YouTube channel.