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.