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.