Cimini, resilient Whitecaps secure comeback win on opening day

Vince Cimini swings in the Whitecaps’ 6-4 win over the Bourne Braves. Cimini went 3-of-4 with two RBI in his first game for Brewster. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

by Eamonn Ryan

BREWSTER — After leaving the bases loaded in a 4-4 game in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Brewster Whitecaps seemed like their own mistakes would cost them an opening day win in front of a packed house at Stony Brook Field on Saturday evening.

But the Whitecaps (1-0) certainly made up for it in the eighth, showing resilience in the early days of the season to come back and secure a 6-4 win over last year’s Cape League champion, the Bourne Braves (0-1). For a team that has only been together for a few days, the fight they showed pushed them over the hump late in the opener.

“I think we’re close already. We’re having fun. It’s hard not to out here,” said outfielder Will Turner (South Alabama). “I mean, it’s another day in paradise and our pitchers pitched when we needed him to … and that really helped us.”

Third baseman Vince Cimini (Boston College) laid down a bunt for a single to move shortstop Dylan Hoy (Marist) over to third base. Turner, after going 0-for-4 previously, then slapped a single through the left side to score Hoy and take a 5-4 lead. The insurance run came from Turner after advancing on a fielder’s choice and stealing third before an overthrow allowed him to get home.

“What a huge hit by [Turner],” Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik said. “It doesn’t matter if you have two bad at bats, he came up huge in the biggest moment of the game, so that’s great for him.”

Outfielder Ajay Sczepkowski (Georgia Gwinnett) safely steals second in the sixth inning. Sczepkowski scored the tying run off an error on the next play. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

The Whitecaps were bolstered by an impressive pitching performance from Joey DeChiaro (Old Dominion), as he closed the door in the final three frames, allowing no runs on no hits and surrendering just one walk.

On the offensive side, Cimini provided an early spark, even though he just arrived to the team Tuesday night. After hitting just one home run during the spring season, Cimini made the most of his first at-bat, launching a fastball over the left field fence in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 1-1.

“Every kid dreams of playing here. To do that in your first at-bat is special,” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

With players still at NCAA super regionals in the early part of the season, flexibility is key for the Whitecaps and a 3-for-4, two-RBI day from a player filling in the ninth spot of the batting order was crucial in the opener.

“When [Cimini] walked in and the only thing we said to him was, ‘Thank god you saved it for the summer,’” Shevchik said. “But if we see a few more of those, we’ll be alright, we’ll be fine.”

Cimini continued his stellar day in his second at-bat, when he roped a double down the left field line that scored Hoy all the way from first in the fourth.

That’s not to say there weren’t a few rough patches in the Whitecaps’ first outing, as some of the chemistry issues of playing together for the first time showed in two errors, multiple wild pitches and passed balls that allowed Bourne runners to advance. 

Lefty Javyn Pimental (Missouri) made the start with battery mate Dylan Leach (Missouri) behind the dish, using a filthy slider to strike out five batters.

Lefty Javyn Pimental (Missouri) got the start for Brewster and went four innings, allowing just two runs and punching out five batters. Photo credit Sadie Parker

The Braves only mustered four hits but also scored four runs, many of which can be attributed to eight walks from the Brewster pitching staff and then miscues that gave free bases. Kodey Shojinaga (Kansas) shone for the Braves with a 2-for-3 performance and a walk and Andrew Patrick (Wright St.) launched a solo homer in the third inning that put the Braves up 1-0.

Shevchik was not happy about the array of mistakes, but acknowledged that his team still found a way to come out on top.

“It’s really hard to score runs in this league and we can’t give them free passes and you know that’s the part that’s going to always hurt us,” Shevchik said. “But a lot of credit to these guys for giving up a handful and coming back.”

2 thoughts on “Cimini, resilient Whitecaps secure comeback win on opening day

  1. The pitcher walked a guy before Joey came in and sat down 9 batters in a row. Great Game!

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