By: Koki Riley
BREWSTER, MA- In their home opener on Wednesday evening, the Brewster Whitecaps used another comeback to propel themselves to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Falmouth Commodores at Stony Brook Field.
After trailing 4-2 in the sixth inning, Brewster used a four-run seventh frame to secure their third win of the season.
It was Whitecaps right fielder Chandler Taylor (Alabama) who played the hero, launching a three-run home run to left-center in the seventh, giving Brewster a 7-4 lead the team would hold.
“Just trying to see good pitches in the zone,” said Taylor when talking to Whitecaps reporter Maura Sheridan about his approach. “Seeing stuff I can handle and putting good swings on them.”
Taylor’s three-run blast was his second of the game. In the sixth inning, the Crimson Tide outfielder hit a solo home run, this one to right field, to cut the Brewster deficit to just one run.
Taylor finished the day 2-3 at the plate with four RBI and also reached on a walk.
“Me and Coach Smyth have been working the past few days, past week probably,” added Taylor. “Just trying to shrink the strike zone and getting pitches I can handle.”
Brewster recorded four hits in the seventh, including Taylor’s second homer.
After Nick Dunn (Maryland) led off the inning with a single and Pete Schuler (Kent State) was hit by a pitch, Whitecaps coach sent Michael Curry (Georgia) to the plate as a pinch-hitter.
Curry fell behind 0-2 in the count, but battled back to even it 2-2 before lining a single to right, bringing home Dunn and tying the score 4-4.
“We can hit. When we play defense and throw strikes, we can beat every team in the league,” Taylor said.
Getting the start on the mound for the Whitecaps was Arizona State lefty Connor Higgins, who also got the ball in Brewster’s opening day win in Orleans exactly one week ago.
Coming off being named the Coca-Cola Cape League Pitcher of the Week, Higgins threw five innings, while only allowing one earned run and striking out four in his second start for Brewster.
Despite struggling early with his fastball command, Higgins’ performance puts his ERA at just 0.90 after his first two starts in a Whitecaps uniform.
Chris Machamer (Kentucky), in his Whitecaps debut, closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning.
The newly-activated Machamer touched 95 miles-per-hour and struck out one Commodore, picking up the Whitecaps’ first save of the season.
Falmouth, on the other hand, saw impressive hitting performances from Jacson McGowan (Purdue) and Alec Bohm (Wichita State).
McGowan went 2-4 on the day and scored two runs, while Bohm went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored for the Commodores.
Falmouth took the lead in the sixth inning when a triple from Marty Bechina (Michigan State) scored Bohm. Bechina would then score after a hard-hit single from designated hitter Willie Burger (Penn State).
Newly-activated outfielder Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) had a debut to forget for Brewster. The rising sophomore, who was named an All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention in his freshman season, went 0-5 with three strikeouts, but was surrounded by teammates ready to pick him up.
“He’s going to be really good,” said Taylor. “It’s about making adjustments and I think he’s going to make those adjustments and be fine.”
The Whitecaps’ home opener was originally scheduled for June 17th against the Chatham Anglers, but was postponed due to field conditions.
When asked about finally getting to play in front of their home fans, Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik was as happy as a clam.
“Great energy here in the ballpark,” said Shevchik. “It’s a tough start when you’re playing all your games on the road.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Whitecaps look to build momentum as they host the Wareham Gatemen Thursday at 5 p.m.