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.
By: Aodhán Doyle
BREWSTER, MA- Through seven innings of Friday night’s contest between the Brewster Whitecaps and Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at Stony Brook Field, it looked as though the Whitecaps were heading for their third consecutive win.
Then in the eighth inning, however, Brewster (14-13-1) made a pitching change and the tables turned, leading to a 2-1 Red Sox win, with Y-D (15-11-1) scoring one run in the eighth and the winning run in the ninth.
With runners on second and third and nobody out in the eighth, Y-D sent Nico Hoerner (Stanford) to the plate as a pinch-hitter and the Red Sox second baseman delivered, lining an 0-1 pitch from Will Tribucher (Michigan) for an RBI-single and tying the game at one.
Then, with two outs in the ninth and a runner on second, Robert Broom (Mercer) relieved Tribucher (0-1), and, despite getting ahead on Alfonso Rivas (Arizona) 1-2, allowed a bloop single over the head of Kyle Datres (UNC), scoring Christian Koss (UC-Irvine) and giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
Rivas has truly been a thorn in the side of the Whitecaps this summer. Rivas is batting .375 against Brewster and three of his nine RBI have come against the Whitecaps.
Over the first seven innings, Brewster starter Pauly Milto (Indiana) was phenomenal, but did not earn a decision.
Typically a reliever for coach Jamie Shevchik’s squad, Milto made his first official start this summer and finished with seven scoreless frames of just one-hit ball, facing the minimum, and striking out four.
“My fastball had a lot of movement.,” Milto said. “Then off my fastball, throwing my slider for a strike was critical.”
“He got ahead of hitters,” Shevchik said “I’m not sure if he even went to a three-ball count to a guy. He definitely didn’t go 2-0 to anybody.”
Milto forced thirteen groundball outs, locating his fastball down in the zone, and lowered his season ERA to 2.95.
“He threw a lot of strikes,” said Shevchik. “Located his fastball really well and mixed in his slider.”
“That’s what pitching is, throw strikes and pitch to contact. He kept those guys off-balance and pitched a great game. Definitely one of the better games we’ve seen.”
With the number of fresh arms running low for Brewster, Milto’s performance was about as good as Shevchik could have hoped for as the Brewster manager said before the game the goal was for his starter to hopefully give them “a chance to win.”
Milto certainly did that, but the Brewster offense struggled against Y-D’s pitching.
“It’s just getting in a routine,” Milto said about the difference between starting and relieving. “I kept my same routine as in Indiana and it’s just a little different feel.”
“If he can give us stuff like that, I’d love to reinsert him as a starter,” Shevchik said about Milto. “We’re searching for who that fourth or fifth guy is going to be and I think Pauly has earned the right to probably get another start, for sure.”
Brewster’s only run of the game scored on a wild pitch in the second inning when Marty Costes (Maryland) came home and the Whitecaps managed just one hit over the final seven frames of the game.
“We had every opportunity to pull away, but we couldn’t come up with the hit we needed,” Shevchik said. “Everything that could have gone wrong offensively today, went wrong.”
Getting on base was not the issue for Brewster, as the Whitecaps walked ten times, extending their league-leading total to 136, 35 more than second-place Cotuit.
However, Brewster struck out 14 times as a team, including five with runners in scoring position.
“We had nine or ten walks, but striking out fourteen or fifteen times, you’re not going to win any ballgame that way,” said Shevchik. “We let one go today. This is one that’s going to haunt us, I think.”
Y-D used four different pitchers to stymie the Whitecaps offense. Spencer Van Scoyoc (Arizona State) got the start for the Red Sox, lasting just three innings and surrendering the only Brewster run of the game.
After Karl Kauffman (Michigan) turned in two innings of scoreless relief, Y-D turned to Brendan Nail (Western Carolina), who shut down Brewster’s offense over three innings of one-hit work, striking out seven.
Nail (1-0) picked up the win for Y-D, while Riley McCauley (Michigan State) earned his seventh save by striking out the side in the ninth.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster faces another Eastern Division opponent on Saturday in the first-place Orleans Firebirds at Eldredge Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
FALMOUTH, MA - In a five inning, rain-shortened affair the Brewster Whitecaps (14-12-1) defeated the Falmouth Commodores (12-13-1) 5-3 at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth, their second consecutive win on the road.
After falling behind 3-0 early on, the Whitecaps would score all five of their runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good.
The Brewster rally began with a single from Darius Hill (West Virginia), scoring second basemen Nick Dunn (Maryland) and advancing Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) to third base.
The very next batter, A.J. Graffanino (Washington), would follow up the Mountaineer’s RBI-single with an RBI one bagger of his own, closing the Whitecaps’ deficit to one.
Brewster would continue to pour on runs in the rain as back-to-back walks from Kyle Datres (UNC) and Chandler Taylor (Alabama) tied the score at three.
With the bases still loaded, the Whitecaps capitalized and added another run on a sacrifice fly from Mickey Gasper (Bryant) to plate Graffanino from third and giving Brewster their first lead, 4-3.
Brewster would add their fifth and final run on the night after consecutive walks to Michael Curry (Georgia) and Dunn made it 5-3 Whitecaps.
“Create runs and create opportunities to score runs,” said Shevchik. “When we score big numbers, you’re always going to add five or six walks into that mix”
On the mound for the Whitecaps was newly-activated Bradley Spooner (Saddleback CC) who made his Cape League debut.
“I actually knew nothing about this team,” Spooner said about his opponent. “I came here blind.”
Spooner was solid and settled in nicely after giving up two runs in the bottom of the first. His final line on the day was 3.2 innings, five hits allowed, three runs (one earned), and five strikeouts.
“Really felt my cutter today, that was really strong,” Spooner said after the game. “Also, my changeup, which I don’t feel often, but when I do feel it, it turns out good.”
“He pitched good enough to win,” Shevchik said. “He threw a lot of strikes, mixed it up, didn’t have an overpowering fastball but worked his changeup, curveball, fastball, and kept hitters off balance.”
Spooner was signed by the Whitecaps on July 6th and activated on July 10th.
“This team is awesome,” Spooner said about Brewster. “I enjoy everyone’s presence, it’s nice. Everyone on this team is cool, the coaches are cool. Everything is really chilled back.”
Leaving the game with a two-run lead and the bases loaded with two outs, Spooner turned the ball over to Robert Broom (Mercer), who got out of the jam and then held the Commodores scoreless in the fifth, lowering his season earned run average to a remarkable 0.48 in 18.2 innings.
“Bringing in Broom with the bases loaded could have been the difference maker right there,” Shevchik said. “Him getting us out of that jam changed the entire tempo of the game.”
Broom earned the win in relief for Brewster, moving to 1-1 on the year.
After the five-run fourth, the Whitecaps would score seven runs in the top of the sixth in what would turn out to be an unofficial inning after the umpires called the game due to the rain making the field unplayable.
In the two-thirds of an inning that was the top of the sixth, Brewster batted around with four hits, three walks, and a Falmouth error. All seven runs came off Falmouth reliever Brian Gadsby (UCLA).
A Datres two-run single made it 12-3 and was the final play of the game before it was called.
Nevertheless, the Whitecaps would come out on top of the Falmouth Commodores in large part thanks to the solid pitching performance from Whitecaps starting pitcher Bradley Spooner (Saddleback CC) and Whitecaps relief pitcher Robert Broom (Mercer).
As for Falmouth, the Commodores got their offense rolling early as a groundout from Alec Bohm (Wichita State) scored Clayton Daniel (Jacksonville State) from third to make it a 1-0 game in the first inning.
Later in the inning, George Janca (Texas A&M) would reach on an error, allowing Austin Langworthy (Florida) to score and making it 2-0 Commodores.
Falmouth extended their lead to three in the third inning when an Alec Bohm (Wichita State) double drove home his 18th RBI of the season, making it 3-0 Commodores.
As the rain fell in Falmouth, so did the quality of defensive play in the field, as both teams combined for five errors in a game that only went five innings.
“Yeah, it’s a struggle,” Spooner said about the weather. “Every once in a while, you lose your grip. I threw a couple fastballs way up in the zone due to the weather.”
The numbers aren’t entirely surprising, however, as Brewster and Falmouth rank as the two worst defensive teams in the league by fielding percentage.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster finally returns to Stony Brook Field after four straight road games to take on the Y-D Red Sox on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
By: Carter Woodiel
CHATHAM, MA- Brewster Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik knew his offense was slumping. Brewster had only scored 2 runs in its previous three games, two of them losses.
But Wednesday night in Chatham, the bats woke up -- in a big way.
Chandler Taylor (Alabama) and Justin Kunz (Gardner-Webb) both homered, every player in the starting lineup reached base safely and the Whitecaps (13-12-1) cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Anglers (12-14) at Veterans Field.
"We've been struggling to score runs; we've had trouble getting the big hit -- that was totally different today," Shevchik said. "So I give a lot of credit to our position players."
Brewster's onslaught started in the first inning, where an error by Chatham third baseman Ashton McGee (North Carolina) allowed Taylor to score. Nick Dunn (Maryland) would follow up with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The Whitecaps broke the game open in the second inning, starting with Taylor's home run. The two-run shot to right-center was his fifth of the season, putting him in sole possession of the team lead.
"I just thought [the pitcher] made a mistake over the middle of the plate, and just put a good swing on it," Taylor said of the homer.
Brewster would add two more runs in the inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) and Dunn. It was Dunn's third RBI in four plate appearances going back to Tuesday night's 2-1 loss at Wareham.
Shevchik said consistent showings from players like Dunn were important for the Whitecaps looking ahead.
"This team is only going to be good if guys like Nick Dunn and Chandler Taylor and a couple of these guys are going to produce," Shevchik said.
Chatham manager Jon Schiffner pulled starter Dan Hammer (Pittsburgh) after Brewster's five-run second inning. Hammer gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in two innings of work. He walked two and struck out one.
Bishop would hit another RBI single in the fourth, making it 8-0 Brewster.
Shevchik admitted Whitecaps starter Tony Locey "didn't have his best stuff" in his fourth start of the year. Still, the Georgia Bulldog managed 5 innings earn the win for Brewster, giving up one run on an RBI double from Johnny Aiello (Wake Forest) in the fifth. Locey gave up five hits, walking two and striking out three.
From there, Shevchik turned to Matthew Beck (LSU) for the final four innings of the game. Beck gave up two ninth-inning runs en route to his first save of his Cape League career.
"That was something that we really needed." Shevchik said of Beck's outing. "The last thing that we wanted to do was go to the bullpen and burn another arm."
Brewster's last home run of the game came on Kunz's home run in the ninth inning, his second of the year.
"I had some pretty poor at-bats earlier in the night, so I was just trying to slow the game down a little bit, see the ball up, and just put a good swing on the ball," Kunz said.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Whitecaps are back in action Thursday at Falmouth, their fourth road game in as many days. Fans can tune in live on the team's YouTube channel.
By: Koki Riley
WAREHAM, MA- The Brewster Whitecaps dropped their second straight game on Tuesday night, this time by a score of 2-1 at the hands of the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field.
Despite a strong start from Joe Molettiere (Monmouth), Brewster’s (12-12-1) offense struggled to get things going, managing just one run and striking out thirteen times.
“We need to be more efficient offensively. This is totally on the hitters,” said Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik. “We just couldn’t come up with the big hit we needed. Way too many strikeouts in big situations.”
Brewster had a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning as Nick Dunn (Maryland) led off second, but Gatemen (11-13-1) closer Brett Conine (Cal State Fullerton) struck out A.J. Graffanino (Washington) to earn his second save.
The only run of the game came in the seventh inning when Dunn lined a two-out, 2-2 fastball from Tanner Dodson (Cal-Berkeley) into left field, scoring Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) who led off the inning with a double.
The Whitecaps outhit the Gatemen ten to five, but left nine runners on base, including four in scoring position.
Tuesday marked the third consecutive game in which the Whitecaps were held to one run or fewer, coming off a 1-0 win on Sunday and a 4-0 loss to the Y-D Red Sox on Monday night.
“We just have to concentrate a little bit more,” Shevchik said. “It all comes down to efficiency…Today, and I think the last couple days, it’s strictly our offense has been anemic. We need to come up with the big hit when we can.”
Despite taking the loss, Molettiere (0-2) delivered arguably his best outing in a Whitecaps uniform this summer. The right-hander was exceptional, allowing just two runs over six innings of work, while surrendering just four hits and striking out six.
“Just definitely my off-speed pitches,” Molettiere said about what was working for him. “I was throwing everything for a strike today. I was just trying to compete and keep guys off base.”
After Willie MacIver (Washington) and John Toppa (UConn) reached to start the bottom of the fourth inning, a one-out RBI-groundout from Jake Anchia (Nova Southeastern) allowed Wareham to strike first and take a 1-0 lead which they would hold until Dunn’s seventh inning single.
Molettiere came out to start the bottom of the seventh inning, but back-to-back Gatemen singles forced Shevchik to bring in Sam Bordner (Louisville) to try and keep Wareham at bay.
“I wanted the ball and they let me have it, so I went back out there,” said Molettiere.
Bordner did not allow a hit, but a one-out sacrifice fly from Steven Kwan (Oregon State) gave Wareham the edge they would need to secure the victory.
After working a scoreless eighth, Bordner finished his outing with two innings pitched, one hit allowed, and two strikeouts, maintaining his perfect 0.00 ERA as a Whitecap.
As for Wareham, starting pitcher Miller Hogan (St. Louis) would go five scoreless innings, while striking out five and lowering his earned run average on the season to 1.50.
Wareham’s relief corps was exceptional as well as Dodson (1-1), Dalton Roach (Minnesota State), and Conine would combine for only one earned run in four innings of work.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps head to Veterans Field to take on the Chatham Anglers for the third game of a four-game road trip on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, MA- For one final time this summer, J.R. McDermott (Colorado-Mesa) took the mound as a member of the Brewster Whitecaps, looking to end his remarkable season with one final standout performance.
It wasn’t the finale that McDermott (2-2) had hoped for, however, as the righty lasted just 3.1 innings, surrendering three runs and took the loss as the Whitecaps (12-11-1) fell to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (13-10-1) by a score of 4-0 at Red Wilson Field on Monday, snapping the team’s four game winning streak.
Before Monday’s contest, Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik said McDermott needed to command his fastball down in the strike zone to find success and force Red Sox hitters to fall behind in counts and have to deal with off-speed pitches.
McDermott, pitching on four days of rest after making each of his previous four starts on at least five days of rest, had trouble locating his fastball, leaving pitches elevated and throwing just 39 of his 71 pitches for strikes.
“A lot of his stuff was up and his control wasn’t there,” Shevchik said. “I think part of that was he came back on short rest…It wasn’t easy on him, we kind of put him in a bad spot, but it was his last day and he wanted one more start and after what he’s done for us this year we’re certainly going to give him that.”
“It was tough. My arm felt very heavy today but there’s nothing you can do about that,” said McDermott. “I need to come out and compete a little better.”
McDermott, who came to Brewster on a temporary contract from a Division II school and made his first start back on June 15th in what Shevchik called a “tryout,” finished his tenure as a Whitecap with a 2.81 ERA and 23 strikeouts, which tied for seventh in the league through Monday’s games.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been a great opportunity to come out here and play with the best,” McDermott said, smiling. “I’ve learned so much about myself and stuff I need to improve on going in to next year. I’m excited to go back, but it’s sad to leave.”
“This is not going define his Cape season because he’s had a great summer and we’re happy for him,” said Shevchik.
McDermott reached his season innings limit after throwing a combined 109.1 frames between school and his time on the Cape.
“It’s already a family,” said McDermott about his teammates. “I’ve known these guys for a month and I’ll probably stay in touch with them for the rest of my life.”
The right-hander had zero room for error, however, as the Brewster offense was held to just four hits and consistently stymied by Red Sox starter Kris Bubic (Stanford).
Bubic (3-1) finished his outing after six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, striking out five, and walking none.
“He did a really good job,” Shevchik said about Bubic. “He mixed up his pitches, he kept us off balance and he picked up a bunch of strikeouts.”
The greatest Whitecaps threat came in the eighth inning when Mickey Gasper (Bryant) doubled to right field to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a Nick Dunn (Maryland) groundout.
Red Sox reliever Andrew Quezada (Cal State Fullerton) retired the next two Whitecaps hitters, however, preserving the Y-D shutout.
“We struck out way too much today and we couldn’t get anything going,” Shevchik said.
Quezada followed fellow Red Sox reliever Tanner Graham (UAB) and the duo combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief of Bubic.
Y-D’s offense, on the other hand, got out to the fastest start they could have as leadoff hitter Nico Hoerner (Stanford) took the first pitch he saw from McDermott and drove it over the fence in center field to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead just one pitch into the game.
The Red Sox added two more runs in the third inning after an Alfonso Rivas (Arizona) home run to center field brought home Alex McKenna (Cal Poly).
Both Y-D home runs came on pitches McDermott left elevated in the zone and were driven out to center field where the fence is just a mere 352 feet away at Red Wilson Field.
The final Red Sox run crossed the plate when Carlos Cortes (South Carolina) came home on a Connor Kaiser (Vanderbilt) single in the seventh inning.
Brewster’s bullpen gave the offense a chance to come back, with Will Tribucher (Michigan) shutting down the Red Sox over 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, while striking out five.
“It was really good,” Shevchik said. “I think the more confidence that he gets, the better he’s going to be,”
A pair of Indiana Hoosiers, Jonathan Stiever and Pauly Milto, tossed an inning each, giving up just one hit and one run (zero earned) and striking out one Red Sox hitter.
“We’re getting down the stretch run, these guys are becoming more valuable,” said Shevchik. “Pitching is wearing thin, we’re getting down to crunch time, and we’re going to heavily rely on everyone in the bullpen. The opportunities are going to be there, when they get them they’re going to need to perform.”
The win gives the Red Sox a one-game advantage over the Whitecaps in the Eastern Division standings as both clubs entered Monday’s contest with identical records.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brewster travels to Wareham for a makeup of July 7th’s rainout against the Gatemen. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from Spillane Field.