By: Koki Riley
YARMOUTH, MA- It wasn’t exactly Joe Namath before Super Bowl III, but Brewster Whitecaps coach Jamie Shevchik clearly knew what he was talking about when he guaranteed a victory over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in Sunday’s game.
“We’ll beat them tomorrow, I promise you that,” said Shevchik, just minutes after his Whitecaps fell to the Red Sox on Saturday.
Thanks to a stellar start by Will Tribucher (Michigan) and a rejuvenated offense, Shevchik’s prediction held true as Brewster beat Y-D 5-1 at Red Wilson Field, the first time Brewster was victorious over the Red Sox all season.
“It feels good,” Tribucher said about finally beating the Red Sox. “This year we’ve been playing well, already clinched the playoffs, so I think going into that, trying to get the best seed we can, beating Y-D was a big win for us.”
In just his third start for Brewster (19-20-2), Tribucher (1-2) shut down a potent Red Sox (25-14-1) offense over six innings, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out seven.
“I felt good,” Tribucher said. “Me and Mickey [Gasper] were working really well behind there. We were in sync the whole game, getting groundballs and making the defense work. They made a couple of nice plays behind us and kept us in it.”
The southpaw did not surrender a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Nico Hoerner (Stanford) led off the frame with a single to right field.
“It was a great start by Will,” said Shevchik. “We’re trying to find who that second or third guy to start in the playoffs and I think he may have earned the right to get in there and do that today. That is one of the better starts we’ve seen all summer long. I’ve seen from Will, have an awful start not too long ago and for him to bounce back today, just like he did today. He owned both sides of the plate and threw his breaking ball when he needed to. Today was just a great day.”
Once Tribucher started dealing, the Whitecaps’ offense took care of the rest.
Marty Costes (Maryland) led the way, going 4-5 on the day with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Costes has been on fire recently, raising his average from .197 to .302 over the last eight games.
It was Costes who gave the Whitecaps the initial lead, singling home Chandler Taylor (Alabama) in the top of the first inning to get the Brewster scoring going.
Then in the sixth inning, Costes switched roles, this time scoring Brewster’s second run after Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) singled to right to double the Whitecaps lead to 2-0.
After Taylor drove in a run of his own on a single to left and moved to third on a stolen base, Costes brought him home with his second RBI-single, giving Brewster a 4-1 advantage in the seventh.
Despite reaching base three times on two walks and a hit-by-pitch, Nick Dunn (Maryland) stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning still looking to extend his hitting streak to sixteen games.
On the very first pitch he saw from Red Sox reliever Tommy Henry (Michigan), however, Dunn extended his streak in the grandest way possible, launching his first home run of the season to straightaway center field and extending the Brewster lead to 5-1.
“They’re playing their baseball at the right time,” Shevchik said about the two Maryland teammates. “If we’re going to do anything in the playoffs or make a run at anything, our guys need to be playing their best baseball. I think we’re there, or almost there. Guys like Nick and Marty, Chandler Taylor still doing what he needs to do, a couple guys need to catch fire a little bit. When you get to the playoffs, anybody can win. We just need to make sure we’re peaking at the right time.”
As soon as the ball left Dunn’s bat, the Whitecaps’ dugout erupted in cheers. Dunn’s hitting streak is the longest in the Cape League this season and after a 1-2 performance, his .339 average is good for fourth in the league.
“This is the time of the year where everybody is pulling for each other,” Shevchik said about the team’s chemistry. “At the beginning of the year, for the first couple weeks, nobody knows each other and the team chemistry isn’t there. We’re in the playoffs in a couple days and the guys are still here, still working hard, and that’s all we can ask for.”
After being no-hit for five innings, the Red Sox would finally break through in the sixth inning. Following back-to-back walks to load the bases, Connor Kaiser (Vanderbilt) lined a single to right, scoring Y-D’s only run of the game.
The Red Sox tried to bring home another run on the play, but a strong throw from Taylor in right caught Carter Pharis (UAB) at home to end the inning.
The play at the plate was the closest the Red Sox came to scoring a run for the remainder of the contest, as the Whitecaps’ bullpen was near-perfect to close out the game
Sam Bordner (Louisville) tossed two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts before Shevchik turned the ball over to Ryan Cyr (Kansas), making his Cape League debut.
Cyr threw a scoreless ninth, allowing just one walk and striking out two to end the game.
For Y-D, starter John Rooney (Hofstra) had a rocky first inning, but settled in nicely and allowed only one run in five innings of two-hit ball.
The Red Sox bullpen did not replicate the same success, however, as Tanner Graham (UAB) and Henry allowed four combined runs in four innings of work.
When asked if he had any more predictions, Shevchik played it safe.
“Nope. I’ve saved them,” the Whitecaps skipper said. “I pick and choose when I’m going to use those so I know I’m always going to be right. I don’t hand those out lightly.”
WHAT’S NEXT: After a day off on Monday, the Whitecaps return home against the Orleans Firebirds on Tuesday. First pitch at Stony Brook Field is scheduled for 4 p.m., an hour earlier than normal as the sun begins to set earlier.