Josh Pearson (pictured), along with Jared Jones, Michael Robertson and Fisher Jameson are fresh off appearances in the College World Series Final. They come to a middle-of-the-road Brewster team that needs a spark. Photo credit Sadie Parker.
by Eamonn Ryan
Jared Jones is standing in the right-handed batter’s box, wiggling a metal bat in his hands as he waits for the 2-1 pitch in the ninth inning. Quickly, he waves the bat through the zone and punches a 2-1 fastball right back up the middle as a loud roar rains down from the LSU faithful that have made the trek to Omaha, Nebraska.
Jones’ at-bat did not mean much for the outcome of the College World Series Final, an 18-4 win for his Tigers, but as he arrives in Brewster for a chance to play summer ball, he’s greeted by Fisher Jameson–the Florida pitcher and Jones’ new Whitecaps teammate who delivered that 2-1 pitch.
“I just found out about that like 15 minutes ago,” Jones said. “It was kind of a laugh…We’re teammates now. Let’s just have fun and just keep playing.”
Jones and Jameson, along with LSU outfielder Josh Pearson and Florida outfielder Michael Robertson, have played the longest seasons of any college baseball player in the country. Their squads cruised through the NCAA Tournament regionals, swept their super regionals and battled to reach a final three-game series in Omaha.
“They’re playing for the Brewster Whitecaps. You know, Florida is a distant memory and LSU is a distant memory,” manager Jamie Shevchik said. “I just hope that they can bring in the intensity and, you know, the culture that they were part of for the last six months and help us out and help us to win.”
The harsh reality for this Brewster team is that their record currently stands at 9-15-2, good for fourth place in the East division. However, an injection of fresh talents like Jones, Pearson, Robertson and Jameson could give the Whitecaps a jolt and inspire a more complete team.
“It is almost a perfect opportunity and perfect time for those types of players to come in and filter into your program,” Shevchik said.
The players know what they’re coming into as well. This is no longer a league where they’re teammates with the likes of Paul Skenes, Jac Caglianone, Dylan Crews and Wyatt Langford—everyone here is battling to be relevant and draw the eye of scouts.
Through the first few games this crew has been featured in, it’s become clear that learning from some of the best college players in the country is impacting their performances.
“They’re the hardest workers I’ve ever been around,” Pearson said of Skenes and Crews, who were drafted first and second overall in the 2023 MLB Draft, respectively. “So like, just seeing Skenes and Crews whenever I show up to the field and I think I’m early and they both already worked out twice.”
That knowledge has translated to this summer. Pearson has been the hottest hitter of the group and on the Whitecaps over his first five games with a .389 average, six RBI and a home run.
“I’m just trying to bond with the guys,” Pearson said. “Stick with my process at the plate and on defense and trying to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
Jameson, off the mound, improved after a rough first appearance and displayed great command over his changeup and slider. For a team that has struggled in the bullpen, the addition of his arm is key.
In the outfield, Robertson’s glove is a presence that calms Shevchik and the rest of the squad, as he can be so reliable.
“Robertson’s gonna add some speed on the bases and speed in the outfield,” Shevchik said. “He’s gonna help shrink the outfield.”
In a crowded outfield with James Tibbs (Florida State), Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) and Will Turner (South Alabama) all battling with Pearson and Robertson for spots, the Whitecaps have plenty of decisions to make, but Robertson is looking forward to playing with the national champions.
“I’m excited to play with those guys,” Robertson said. “Kudos to them, they had an awesome season and they deserve it.”
Jones, who is just coming off his freshman year, is the youngest of the four and started his spring season hot before cooling off toward the end. The power is certainly there, though, and if he can harness it at Stony Brook Field, fireworks should ensue.
“If he puts together a summer remotely like he did throughout the year, then he adds some really big thump in our lineup,” Shevchik said.
The quartet plays in the SEC, the toughest conference in college baseball, and are now enduring the toughest summer league in the country. Nevertheless, both sets of teammates are already acquainted with each other.
During the school year, Jameson and Robertson were roommates but didn’t plan to play together in the summer until their coaches informed them they’d both be playing for Brewster.
“I’m thrilled. You know, it’s awesome,” Robertson said. “We were tight back at school and whatnot. So it’s pretty exciting to be here and get to play some summer ball with him.”
Jones and Pearson had a similar experience, as they both were told by LSU manager Jay Johnson that they would also be playing together and bonded throughout the ride from Baton Rouge to Brewster.
“I mean, past three months, I’ve probably spent a month of that with him,” Pearson said. “I’d say we’re pretty close.”
The addition of these four has doubled the Whitecaps’ total of SEC players from four to eight. As they prepare for the second half of the season and move on from the accolades that came with the spring, there’s only one goal on the new players’ minds.
“Have fun. I mean, we just won a national championship,” Pearson said. “So we want to win a Cape League championship.”