They’re so back. And forth. Whitecaps win rollercoaster game to break slump

Trevor Werner’s (center) six RBI — including four off a grand slam — made the difference as Brewster snapped a four-game losing streak. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

by Eamonn Ryan

BOURNE—With no runs in 11 straight innings and just 10 runs in their past six games, the Brewster Whitecaps were officially in a slump as they came into Saturday night’s showdown with the Bourne Braves.

The first two innings were just as frustrating for Brewster, as they only had one baserunner off an Ike Irish (Auburn) walk. As Bonnie Tyler would say, the Whitecaps needed a hero to help them break this scoreless streak.

That hero arrived in the form of third baseman Trevor Werner (Texas A&M), as his six-RBI performance saved the Whitecaps (5-6-2) in their 9-5 win over the Bourne Braves (5-7-0) at Doran Park.

Werner, standing tall at six feet, three inches, rode into town Thursday and went hitless during his first two starts at the hot corner, but with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the third, he drilled a fastball to right-center for a two-RBI single and got the Whitecaps on the board, giving them a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the eighth, Werner was again in a two-out, bases-loaded situation as the Whitecaps led 5-4. Rather than pushing it, he pulled the ball, smoking it 369 feet over the left-field fence for a dagger of a grand slam, extending the lead to 9-4.

“Kind of a mental note that I make to myself when guys are in scoring positions, that the pressures on the pitcher in that situation,” Werner said. “Reminding myself of that just allows me to take a deep breath and just execute and just put a good swing on it.”

Werner’s six RBI are the most by any Whitecap in a single game this season, but the rest of the offense was disciplined enough to get on for him.

“Werner, the reason he’s here is exactly what he gave us today,” Whitecaps manager Jamie Shevchik said. “That’s what we were waiting for.”

Down 4-3, outfielder Will Turner (South Alabama) led off the eighth with a walk, Mason White (Arizona) was hit by a pitch and Ivan Brethower (UC Santa Barbara) also walked.

Then things got weird. The Whitecaps struck out twice, but Brock Tibbitts stuck his bat out at a slider and dribbled it to the second baseman, but the throw went off the first baseman’s glove and Turner scored, tying the game 4-4. The next at-bat, Irish exercised plenty of patience as he watched a 58-foot, 3-2 slider that gave the Whitecaps the lead before Werner’s four-bagger.

“For us to catch finally a break, and then [Werner] to come up and extend that lead with the home run, it’s exactly what this team needed,” Shevchik said.

Werner wasn’t the only home run hitter. Mason White (Arizona) launched a 420-foot bomb to right-center in the third inning that gave Brewster a 3-1 lead. Photo credit Sadie Parker

Before that, the Whitecaps seemed to be doomed by their own defense, as they gave up three runs in the bottom of the seventh, surrendering their 3-1 lead to the Braves off heads-up baserunning and an infield single. With two outs and runners on first and third, Gage Harrelson (Texas Tech) took off for second and got caught in a rundown while Jonathan Vastine (Vanderbilt) sprinted home to give Bourne a 4-3 lead.

With humid conditions after a rainy day on Cape Cod bearing down on the once-again losing Whitecaps, it felt as though they “were cursed,” Shevchik said. But the offense lifted the team over the hump and finally got Brewster back in the win column.

Although the Whitecaps surrendered four runs, the pitching recorded six scoreless innings on eight hits. 

Right-handed flamethrower Ernie Day (Campbell) started the day with three straight fastballs and got three strikes to set down Harrelson.

The next six outs Day recorded? All swinging strikeouts.

“I just came up with confidence and my stuff was playing,” Day said.

His fastball was humming, sitting around 93 miles per hour, and he mixed in both a filthy cutter and slider to keep hitters swinging and missing throughout the game’s first two innings. 

“Honestly, if I were to be flipping those [pitches] in it just makes my fastball even better when everything’s just playing like that,” Day said.

Day finished the day with 4.1 innings pitched, just two hits allowed, one earned run and seven punchouts to get the evening started.

Day pounded the zone with low-90s fastballs and kept hitters off-balance with a cutter and slider in his 4.1 innings of work. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

Lefty Joey DeChiaro (Old Dominion) was the first pitcher out of the bullpen and did not allow much contact, but lucky bounces and defensive miscues — not necessarily errors but tough decisions — allowed three runs to score after 2.1 innings. Ben Gorski (Rutgers) shut the door with two hits and one run in two innings of work.

The Whitecaps’ staff has been up-and-down over the winless stretch, but Saturday they kept the hot Bourne offense — who had won three straight games — muffled enough.

With the win, Brewster has now won its fifth game against the West division and its second straight over the Braves after falling in the championship series last season. But those do not matter right now to the players and coaches in the clubhouse — they’re just happy the rainy skies cleared for one evening.

“We needed that, man,” Shevchik said. “It there was ever a game that we needed to win it was this one and to do it against a Bourne team, a totally reloaded Bourne team, was good.”

Brewster takes a drive back down Route 6 to Stony Brook Field Sunday evening to welcome the Chatham Anglers with first pitch at 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: