Brock Tibbitts (Indiana) amidst his strong day at the plate. Tibbitts went 2-3 at the plate with a walk and one run scored. Photo credit: Sadie Parker
By Mark Rappaport
BREWSTER––The day might have been sunny, but it did not seem that way for the Whitecaps (9-17-2), who lost a sixth consecutive game due to continued offensive woes and a struggling pitching staff. The Whitecaps surrendered seven runs off a season-high 14 hits to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (15-12-1) in a 7-3 loss Thursday evening.
Brewster’s fate was set in the fifth as the bases were loaded for Brewster’s hottest bat, Josh Pearson (LSU), who had come through for his ballclub when they needed it most this season, which was precisely what Jamie Shevchik’s Whitecaps were looking for.
To the Whitecaps’ dismay, Pearson could not come through for his ballclub as he hit into a decisive inning-ending double play. Then, Hyannis took the lead in the top of the sixth immediately afterward.
“That’s kind of baseball. Once you kind of don’t get it done and momentum kind of goes back to the other team and sometimes you wind up on the wrong side of things,” pitching coach Brian Del Rosso said. “We just got to put our best foot forward every day and hopefully we can get on the other side of things.”
The Harbor Hawks scored the game’s first run in the second inning off Brewster’s Austin Gordon (Clemson), who retired the first two batters in the frame. Subsequently, Gordon gave up two hits, a double to Elijah Hainline (Washington State) and an RBI single to Aaron Parker (California Santa Barbara).
Hyannis added on in the third using an identical formula. With one out, Jonathan Gazdar (Austin Peay) doubled to left and Zachary Yorke (Grand Canyon) recorded an RBI single to score Gazdar, extending the Harbor Hawks’ lead to 2-0.
Despite four shaky innings, Gordon was able to limit the damage against Hyannis’ hot offense. Gordon gave up two runs on seven hits, alongside one punchout.
Gordon amid his second start for the Whitecaps. The righty gave up seven hits but limited damage and only gave up two runs. Photo credit: Sadie Parker
The Whitecaps got on the board in the fourth inning off timely hitting and some much-needed luck on their side. Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) led off the frame with a single and advanced to second off a Brock Tibbitts (Indiana) walk. Then, Ike Irish (Auburn) came through with an RBI single to cut Brewster’s deficit to 2-1.
On the next play, Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) popped out in the infield and the inning seemed to be over. However, Hyannis’ defense fumbled the ball and could not make a play, allowing Brock Tibbitts (Indiana) to score from third on the error.
After a scoreless top of the fifth, the Whitecaps threatened in the bottom of the frame as Payton Green’s (Georgia Tech) single and two walks loaded the bases with just one out.
With a prime opportunity to take the lead in the ballgame, Pearson hit into an inning-ending double play, erasing any hopes of a rally Brewster might have had.
“You find it hard to sense a little bit of momentum coming our way, and you know, double play there is certainly not ideal, kind of a bit of an inning killer,” Del Rosso said.
The double play is reminiscent of the Whitecaps’ season so far, as they have had no trouble getting on base but have had trouble getting them to cross the plate. Brewster’s offense has been inconsistent all season and has been unable to get in a groove.
In heartbreaking fashion, Hyannis took the lead back immediately in the top of the sixth. Two-way player Patrick Forbes (Louisville) was uncharacteristically wild in the frame and struggled with his command as the Harbor Hawks scored two runs—one off a wild pitch and another off an RBI single by Gazdar, giving Hyannis a 4-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
Pearson making an impressive play in the outfield alongside Mason White (Arizona). Photo credit: Sadie Parker
Brewster retaliated in the bottom of the sixth off a wild pitch that scored Irish, though the Whitecaps left two runners on base in the inning.
However, Hyannis then scored a run off a sacrifice fly in the seventh, which canceled Brewster’s run in the sixth. The Harbor Hawks also added two more in the ninth off a two-run blast by Zach Ehrhard (Oklahoma State) to extend the lead to 7-3.
Thursday night’s contest was just another example of being so close to breaking through and failing to do so.
“We can’t seem to get that hit in the timing that we needed and it’s frustrating, obviously,” assistant coach Scott Grimes said. That situation right there kind of encompasses what we’ve been going through, like I said, we’re trying to roll out a big rock up a hill. We can’t get it to the top of the hill.”
The Whitecaps look to snap their skid Friday evening against the first-place Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at Red Wilson Field with first pitch scheduled for 4:45 p.m.