Hot Caps roll into Chatham, win wild game at Veterans Field

Josh Pearson (LSU) celebrating with his teammates after go-ahead blast in the first inning in Chatham. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

By Mark Rappaport

CHATHAM––On a warm night with scattered rain, the Brewster Whitecaps (11-17-2) escaped with a 6-5 win as severe weather forced the game to be called prematurely in the sixth.

Sunday’s game was similar to the last time the two clubs matched up at Veterans Field in June. On the second day of the season, the Whitecaps and Anglers traded leads throughout the ballgame in a ten-inning thriller.

In this one, Brewster’s offensive magic again took shape at Veterans Field. The Whitecaps offense broke out for six runs off ten hits and six walks in a six-inning, 6-5 win over the last-place Anglers (7-18-1), its third-straight win over Chatham this season.

“Good game yesterday, we won one game and then we swung relatively well today,” assistant coach Scott Grimes said. “It’s a good sign.”

Brewster got off to a hot start early in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the frame, Josh Pearson (LSU) launched a line drive just a few feet foul of a home run. Then, two pitches later, Pearson smacked another ball just over Veterans Field’s center field fence, giving Brewster an early 1-0 lead.

“The first one felt good coming off the bat. I knew it would be close,” Pearson said. “Stick back to my approach and I was lucky enough to get a pitch to drive and I was able to drive it.”

Chatham struck back in the second and scored two runs off Brewster southpaw Javyn Pimental (Missouri). Pimental walked three in the frame and the Anglers capitalized off his mistakes, scoring two runs to take a 2-1 lead.

Pimental struggled with his command, a worrisome trend that has been present in his last two starts after a strong stretch to begin the season. Pimental finished his night pitching three innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits and three walks, alongside two punchouts.

Pimental amidst his outing Sunday evening at Veterans Park. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

After losing the lead, the Whitecaps offense came to life in the third with the bases loaded and one down. Then, Brock Tibbitts (Indiana) hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game and with two outs, Ike Irish (Auburn) roped a two-RBI single up the middle, giving Brewster their lead back, 4-2.

In the bottom of the frame, Chatham threatened once again. With two outs, Jayden Melendez (Pitt) singled to left which scored Zach MacDonald (Miami of Ohio). On the play, Aidan Meola (Oklahoma State) attempted to score but was thrown out at the plate, keeping Brewster’s lead intact.

Brewster then added an insurance run in the fourth as Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) scored off Pearson’s bases-loaded walk. The Whitecaps also added in the fifth and this time off an RBI single by Ferrer, extending the lead to 6-3. 

Just as Brewster was riding high with a three-run lead, Chatham’s offense was not ready to give up. Whitecaps’ reliever Drake Quinn (Marist) walked two batters, hit another and was subsequently taken out of the ballgame. Tyler Mudd (Boston College) was brought into the ballgame and limited the damage but two runners—both earned to Quinn—did cross the plate in the frame, narrowing Brewster’s lead to 6-5.

After a scoreless top of the sixth, lightning forced the game into a delay and a heavy thunderstorm struck a few minutes later. The game was then suspended and Brewster escaped Veterans Field with a narrow 6-5 victory in six innings, extending its win streak to two games.

After a tough six-game stretch, the Whitecaps appear to be riding high and the team is playing with a renewed sense of energy ahead of the All Star Break next weekend.

“Our hitters did come up with some pretty clutch hits and found ways to get on base,” manager Jamie Shevchik said. “It’s just a different vibe in the dugout.”

The Whitecaps look to extend their win streak to three games in a matchup at Eldredge Park with the Orleans Firebirds Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. 

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