By Maxwell Paul McLaughlin
Brewster, M.A. – Stony Brook Field looked quite differently Thursday night than it did a year ago on August the eleventh. It would be the Bourne Braves dog piling on the mound and hoisting the Trophy.
As a Whitecaps fan, you can be disappointed, upset, mad, or jealous, and there is only one reason why this is, in fact, true. The Brewster Whitecaps were more than 10 points down and out of first place at the all-star break, and they were a few games under.500.
The Brewster Whitecaps battled, fought, and stuck together in the hard times to return to those winning ways, claim first place and get to the Cape League Championship game, which nobody thought was possible at the all-star break.
I never use the word I in these stories or talk anything about myself, but for this season, I must. Last season you know there was something special about the 2021 Brewster Whitecaps, thus winning the championship.
Halfway through the 2022 season, I noticed some standouts, but the team wasn’t even close to being a team to make a playoff push. I and so many others were proved wrong.
When you have a player, leader, and catcher like Kurtis Byrne (TCU), you are in great hands behind the plate, in the box, and off the field. Byrne brings a different energy to any team he is on and ensures everyone feels welcome and respected.
The Whitecaps had almost 70 players come through during the season. A couple of players that stayed through the whole time and since day one were; Logan Bravo (Harvard), Grayson Tatrow (Abilene Christian), and Brennen Oxford (Florida State). With three guys like that sticking around all season is the perfect formula for a team to go far.
There was some young guns on this Whitecaps team that weren’t draft eligible, but their time will come shortly. Carson Demartini (Virginia Tech), Ryan Lasko (Rutgers), and Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt). Demartini came onto the Cape as a young and energetic infielder, and he left as a future MLB first-round pick and one of the most exciting players to watch this year in college baseball. Lasko will return to Rutgers in the fall and be named the Big Ten Preseason player of the year without a doubt and possibly an MLB first-round pick, Lasko brought the same toughness day in and day out in centerfield to be the outfield leader he is and always will be in the future. Diaz has some huge spikes to fill, becoming a starter this fall and spring at Vanderbilt, but Diaz will be fine and hopefully help the Commodores back to Omaha.
Every player that came through this year put their display of talent out there for scouts and other colleges to see; they all also contributed in their way.
The Brewster Whitecaps had a different-looking coach staff than the previous year. It was filled with veteran coaches about to make a name for themselves and some young and upcoming stars in the coaching world.
The manager of the Brewster Whitecaps stayed the same in Jamie Shevchik. Shevchik did what he always does, recruiting the best of the best and getting the players to buy into the team.
Ryan Smythe and Lance Ratchford also returned. Ratchford had one of the most successful summers by becoming the head coach for a division one program in Marist.
Two new coaches this summer were both recently former Big Ten pitchers. They were Mark Diluia (Maryland) and Joe Pace (Michigan). I’ve never met more standup guys willing to teach and help young players with experiences they have already gone through in their lives. When I mentioned young and upcoming stars in the coaching world, these two define that phrase.
Jack Milani, Ryan Abel, and Karlyle Yurema were brought in to provide their analytical insight. They were some of the most impressive young baseball operations men I have ever met.
The 2022 Whitecaps will be a team I will always remember because of their personality, what they did, and how they flipped their season around.
If I’m not at Stony Brook Field again in the future, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.