Storyline comebacks and unfortunate weather headlines first week of 2023 season

Whitecaps’ players excited from week one success on red-shirt Friday. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

By Mark Rappaport

The Brewster Whitecaps (4-2-1) have had an eventful week, to say the least. Brewster, led by coach Jamie Shevchik for an eighth straight season, has shown an ability to come back from behind in the young season, despite the team having only been together for a short time.

“We have a dynamic team,” Shevchik said. “It seems like every day we’re getting a little bit better.”

To start off the season on Opening Day, Brewster trailed 4-2 in the sixth inning against Bourne and eventually came back to win 6-4, clinching the first game of the season at Stony Brook Field in a rematch of the 2021 and 2022 championship series.

The next day, which ended up being very memorable, Brewster trailed 7-1 against Chatham in the sixth and came back to take an 8-7 lead, headlined by a seven-run rally off four hits and four walks. Brewster also came back in the ninth inning down 10-9 to tie the game, off of a decisive home run by catcher Dylan Leach (Missouri). When all was said and done, the Whitecaps came back to tie the Anglers 10-10 in ten innings at Veterans Field.

Celebration after three-run shot by Patrick Forbes (Louisville) amidst Brewster’s decisive seven-run rally in the sixth against Chatham. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

A few days later, on June 14, Brewster was behind 2-1 against Cotuit ahead of the seventh inning. The Whitecaps struck once again, coming back to score five runs in that inning, winning 6-2 at Lowell Park.

The Whitecaps have been impressive offensively. They’ve shown that they have chemistry and an ability to spark large rallies, even when the chances of victory in games seem bleak. 

Shevchik has been impressed with the team’s performance and highlighted the formula that led to Brewster’s early success.

“Keep it loose, don’t put too much pressure on them, let them play a style of baseball,” Shevchik said. “We feel like we can come back and win every game no matter what the score is.” 

Second baseman Trevor Austin (Missouri) has led the team offensively, batting .400 over 20 at-bats with three RBI, two walks, and two stolen bases. 

“We’ve done a really good job,” Austin said. “[I’m] just trying to see the ball…swinging at pitches that I want to hit and it’s been working out for me so far.”

The pair of Dylans have also been impressive. Third baseman Dylan Hoy (Louisville) has batted .316 over 19 at-bats, with one RBI, eight walks and one stolen base, and is sixth among all Cape League players in on-base percentage at .519. Leach has batted .381 with one home run, two RBI, three walks and one stolen base.

As a team, Brewster has recorded the second-most hits and third-most walks of any team in the Cape League, as well as the fewest errors. 

Conversely, a few pitchers have stood out in the young season for the Whitecaps. Opening day starter Javyn Pimental (Missouri) stands out, as he leads all players with 10 innings pitched and 11 strikeouts, along with a 1.80 ERA and only four hits allowed over two starts.

Opening day starter Javyn Pimental pitching in Brewster’s win over the Bourne Braves. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

Reliever Joey DeChiaro (Rutgers) has been lights out for Brewster with 5.1 innings pitched while giving up no hits and no runs. Closer Ben Gorski has also shined, allowing no hits and no runs over two games.

Although there have been plenty of positives over the first six games of the season, there have also been misshapes and struggles. 

Brewster’s offense has been inconsistent and at times has been stymied against elite pitching, such as on Friday, when Brewster was unable to score against Falmouth, despite opportunities to do so. The pitching has been inconsistent, though overall has remained solid to keep the Whitecaps in games, giving the offense a chance to win day in and day out. 

“I think capitalizing on runners in scoring position will be big for us in the future,” Austin said. “Just those timely hits can be the difference in a game like [Friday’s game].”

In addition to Brewster’s in-game performance, unfortunate weather has played a prominent role in the season. On Wednesday, lightning forced the game to be called early in Cotuit, and on Saturday, the game against Orleans was postponed due to heavy rain. 

As it stands today, Brewster is tied for first place in the eastern division, with nine points,  the same as Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, a familiar feat. A year ago in 2022, both teams tied for the division lead.

Brewster will look to expand their success from week one, as the season progresses from June into July.

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