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.