Severe fog can’t stop resilient Caps as strong pitching and rejuvenated offense exact revenge in Harwich

The Whitecaps ahead of Wednesday’s wild matchup against the Harwich Mariners as the national anthem is being played. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

By Mark Rappaport

HARWICH—Nothing could stop the Brewster Whitecaps (8-11-2) Wednesday evening, not even the Harwich Mariners’ pitching staff or the plethora of fog that took centerstage at Whitehouse Field.

Wednesday’s game radically differed from the last time the Whitecaps and Mariners matched up at Whitehouse Field. Earlier this season, on a cold Tuesday night in June, Brewster suffered a heartbreaking 9-3 loss at the hands of the Mariners amid the Whitecaps’ tough four-game stretch.

Wednesday’s warmer, humid contest gave way to a vital 7-1 victory over the Harwich Mariners (11-10), despite a long 45-minute fog delay. 

“There’s a different vibe in the bullpen, a different vibe in the dugout,” head coach Jamie Shevchik said. “And it felt good…It had that energy of a team that can potentially, you know, string a handful of wins together.”

In this one, Brewster’s bats were set to face a familiar foe—southpaw Tom Chmielewski (Princeton)—who stifled the Whitecaps offense in that June loss, pitching six scoreless innings and giving up just one hit.

Early on, Chmielewski looked like he was well on his way to another dominant performance, setting down the first six batters he faced.

However, in the top of the third, Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) had a different plan, blasting a long home run to left field to break the tie, giving Brewster an early one-run lead. 

“That felt really good. The first time I faced him I think I was 0-for-2 against him but I saw the ball well,” Ferrer said. “I was just trying to get my pitch and I got it and I didn’t miss it so I was super happy to be there.”

In the top of the fifth, the Whitecaps struck again as Will Turner (South Alabama) walked, and Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) came through, launching a long double to left field, scoring a hustling Turner from first base and extending Brewster’s lead to 2-0.

Turner hustling in the fifth inning, scoring from first off of Diaz’s RBI double. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

In the sixth, James Tibbs (Florida State) led off the frame with a long double to left and eventually scored off two wild pitches by Harwich reliever Domenic Picone (Saint. Joseph’s). Later in the inning, Ferrer singled and eventually scored off an RBI single by newcomer Derek Berg (West Point).

On the other side, Patrick Forbes (Louisville) pitched three scoreless innings, giving up no hits and two walks alongside three strikeouts. Fisher Jameson (Florida) relieved Forbes in his Whitecaps debut and pitched two scoreless innings of his own before running into trouble in the sixth.

In that sixth, Jameson gave up three singles and a bases-loaded walk to narrow Brewster’s lead to 4-1. Reliever Joey DeChiaro (Rutgers) was brought into the game to relieve Jameson with the tying run on the bases and the go-ahead run at the plate with none out.

DeChiaro entered the game in an arduous situation and was brilliant. He recorded a popout and two strikeouts and subsequently pitched a scoreless seventh inning to preserve Brewster’s three-run lead going into the eighth.

“I was just trying to fill the zone the best I could,” DeChiaro said. “Anything I could do to help my guys out and help them, you know, get the W anyway possible.”

DeChiaro pitching in the fog in a difficult  bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning Wednesday evening. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

That eighth inning would not come quickly. The wave of fog, which had been present all game, worsened, and the umpires halted the game into a delay until the fog receded. The fog continued to grow as a few players threw a football around to kill time in anticipation that the game would eventually be called due to the conditions.

But it was not to be as the game resumed after a 45-minute delay, even though the fog continued to expand into the infield.

“It opens it up for a team to possibly lose a game and blame it on the fog,” Shevchik said. “So I’m happy that we were just able to stick with it.”

As the game progressed into the final two innings, seeing anything beyond the infield became almost impossible.

“Yeah, something I’ve never been through, but it was a cool experience for sure,” Brewster right fielder Jaime Ferrer said. “We just stuck in it and we locked back in.”

Brewster scored three more runs in the eighth and ninth innings without a hit, and Drake Quinn (Marist) did his job out of the bullpen to close the door and secure the win.

The Whitecaps look to win a third straight game in a rematch with the Mariners Thursday evening at Stony Brook Field, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

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