Missed opportunities in Whitecaps loss overshadow Berg’s farewell performance 

Berg hit a home run in his final game as a Whitecap as he departs for West Point, but the Whitecaps only drove in one more run in the loss. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

by Eamonn Ryan

FALMOUTH—With the bases loaded and no one out in the sixth inning, the opportunity was prime for the Whitecaps to come back from a 3-1 deficit in their contest with the Falmouth Commodores Wednesday evening.

Instead of piecing together clutch hits, they only mustered one run off a Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth.

Then the floodgates opened, and Falmouth put up four runs in the bottom of the frame to crush any glimmer of hope Brewster had in its 9-2 loss at Guv Fuller Field.

“You know, the long innings are on the opposite side of the field for us,” pitching coach Brian Del Rosso said. “Certainly frustrating but the season is long and you hope to, you know, kind of string together some momentum.”

The Whitecaps once again kept pace in the hits column but allowed too many free passes, issuing seven walks while both teams recorded nine hits.

Neither team recorded an earned run until the fourth inning, but Falmouth got on the board in the bottom of the first after two walks and an error kept the inning alive for Kade Snell (Alabama), who laced a two-out, two-RBI single to give the Commodores an early lead that they would not relinquish.

Brewster notched hits in each of the first four innings, but it was not until Derek Berg (Army) unleashed a 379-foot home run over the left-centerfield fence, giving Brewster its first run to cut the Commodores lead to 2-1.

“I was just kind of looking for something to hit, he threw a pitch left up in the zone,” Berg said. “Just kind of trying to put a barrel on it, then yeah, it felt good.”

It was Berg’s final game with the Whitecaps as he returns to West Point for field training next week. His home run is a nice parting gift for a team he played well for, as he batted .273 with two homers in just seven games.

“It’s been a pleasure and an honor to play for the Whitecaps,” Berg said. “And get to go to the field every day and go to work with all these guys, who are great players and play at some of the best schools in the country.”

Berg’s time with the Whitecaps meant a lot to manager Jamie Shevchik, who believes Berg’s sacrifice exemplifies the type of player he wants in the clubhouse.

“[The team is] not having fun playing the game,” Shevchik said. “And you have a guy like Derek Berg who’s like I said, has got to go live in the woods for the next 18 days, but would love to be here. And that part is really frustrating.”

Whitecaps starter Brennan Phillips (Oklahoma State) allowed those two unearned runs in the first inning, but recovered nicely and only gave up three hits in his four innings of work, alongside three strikeouts. The issue was his four walks, as he struggled mightily with command but settled in.

“I thought for the most part, I thought he controlled the strike zone enough. Gave us a shot,” Del Rosso said.

Brennan Phillips (Oklahoma State) finished the day with 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB and 3 K, but still allowed two unearned runs. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

In the fifth, Brennen Oxford (Florida State) entered and gave up solid contact just once, but it resulted in a home run for Walker Janek (Sam Houston State). His sixth inning was not as pretty, as four runs crossed. Oxford pitched two innings in total and gave up five earned runs on three hits and three walks.

Brewster kept getting runners on as the game entered the late innings, but the final piece would not fit into the puzzle. They allowed two more runs to cross off a sacrifice fly in the seventh and a single in the eighth, ending the game seven runs apart, but zero hits apart.

The Whitecaps coaching staff appears to want to challenge this lineup and give it a kickstart that will help right the ship. 

“There’s guys you know, all over the country who would, I’m sure, like to be here,” Del Rosso said. “Just kind of trying to spark that interest in them to get them motivated.”

Brewster is now in the midst of another five-game losing streak and has a chance to break it Thursday night at Stony Brook Field with a 5 p.m. start against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.

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