Demitri Diamant (Georgia Tech) at the plate Wednesday evening in the final matchup of the regular season. Photo credit: Sadie Parker
By Mark Rappaport
BREWSTER––The Whitecaps entered Wednesday evening on a five-game skid and struggled to win games ahead of the playoffs.
For a while Wednesday afternoon, it seemed the Whitecaps might break that streak, but alas, they did not.
When all was said and done, Brewster fell 3-2 to the Harwich Mariners (20-23-2), capping off a six-game losing streak to finish the regular season with the worst record since 2018.
As it has been consistently over Brewster’s losing streak, the Whitecaps (15-27-2) found themselves behind early on in the ballgame and attempted to muster a comeback.
Cameron Leary (Boston College) reached base via a hit-by-pitch in the second inning, advanced to second on a walk and then executed a double steal to reach third. Andrew Yu (Duke) brought Leary home on an RBI groundout to give Harwich an early 1-0 lead, despite not recording a hit in the frame.
On the mound, Brewster southpaw Ashe Ammerlaan (Bluefield) shone in his Cape League debut and gave up just one earned run on two walks and no hits, alongside five punchouts in his two innings of work. The Mariners put the ball in play just once against Ammerlaan, as every other plate appearance resulted in a walk, hit-by-pitch or a strikeout.
“He was really good. He was electric out there,” Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik said. “It makes me happy that I have him to use in the first three games of the playoffs because he’s going to be an arm that is going to be able to help us win a game.”
The Whitecaps were not quiet at the plate, either, as they got the bats going in the third. Jonah Sebring (UC Santa Barbara) walked and stole second before Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) hit an RBI single, which evened the score, 1-1.
That was all either team could muster until the sixth inning, as the game became a pitching duel, defined by each club’s bullpen.
Jacob Riordan (Arkansas) and Drake Quinn (South Carolina) relieved Ammerlaan and a combined four innings out of Brewster’s bullpen, providing length to keep Brewster in the ballgame. The pair gave up no runs, just two hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Conversely, Will Jones (Northeastern), Drew Byers (Georgia Tech) and Randall Alejo (Saint Rose) combined to pitch the final 6.1 innings out of Harwich’s bullpen and gave up no earned runs and just three hits alongside nine punchouts.
Brewster’s offense squeaked out a run in the sixth. Demitri Diamant (Georgia Tech) walked and stole second to give the Whitecaps a runner in scoring position. Then, Jones committed an error, which advanced Diamant to third, and Brock Tibbitts hit a sacrifice fly to give Brewster a 2-1 lead.
In the eighth, Harwich came from behind to take the lead off reliever Zach Mizrahi (Penn State). Kevin Keister (Maryland) doubled and scored off Leary’s RBI single to tie the ballgame. Then, the Whitecaps committed two errors, allowing Leary to score, which gave Harwich a 3-2 lead.
That was all either offense could muster. It was almost not that way, however.
In the bottom of the frame, Diamant hit a long fly ball to left, which was destined to tie the game at 3-3. Nevertheless, it was not to be as left fielder Cam Caraher (Boston College) made a leaping catch to steal a home run from Diamant, keeping the Mariners’ lead intact.
Despite the loss Wednesday afternoon, Shevchik disregards it and looks forward to the next face: the playoffs.
“We weren’t going to risk injury or rest or anything else or burning a really good pitcher just to try to get a win,” Shevchik said. “After the off day tomorrow, it’s a brand new season.”
After a difficult stretch to end the regular season, the Whitecaps look to turn their fortunes around in the playoffs. Brewster is set to face the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in a best-of-three matchup, with the series opener scheduled for Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at Red Wilson Field.