By: Finn Riley
Wareham, M.A. 一 On Friday, the Whitecaps won a nail-biter over the Wareham Gatemen by a score of 6-5, pushing the Caps closer to a playoff berth.
The ball was flying all over the park in this one, as each team notched three home runs on the day.
The most important long ball of the evening came from Cam Fisher (UNC Charlotte) who smashed a solo shot to right-center to put the Caps ahead 6-5 in the top of the eighth.
Up until this point, there were no runs scored after the fourth inning, leaving the game at a stalemate from the fifth to seventh innings.
Prior to that point, the Gatemen offense pounced from the start, with a leadoff home run from Max Anderson, which was followed up by a two-run homer just two batters later.
In total, Wareham hung five runs on nine hits against Whitecaps starter Zane Morehouse (Texas), but could not do any damage against the Brewster bullpen.
Whitecaps relievers Brennan Oxford (Wake Forest) and Jack Stroud (Texas State) held the Gatemen bats to a combined two hits over the remaining five innings of the game.
While Fisher’s home run put the Caps over the top, Kurtis Byrne (TCU) had the performance of the day.
Byrne went 4-4 with a two-run blast to centerfield, an RBI double, and two singles, accounting for three of the six Brewster runs.
“I just take it every day, […] don’t get too high or too low on the games because baseball’s a funny thing the way it all evens out,” Byrne said.
Byrne was recently named the MVP of the 2022 Whitecaps team and has shown that he deserves the recognition through his play behind the plate and in the batter’s box.
“It’s a huge honor, especially being here last year and then winning it this year […] it’s awesome that the coaches thought that of me and I’m very fortunate to be able to help this club.”
This summer, Byrne is slashing a .267 batting average with three home runs and 19 runs batted in. Defensively, Byrne leads all Cape League Catchers in putouts with 206, with the next closest at 177.
With a win over the Gatemen, the second-place Whitecaps are now three points ahead of the Mariners and Firebirds and hold a five-point margin on the Anglers.
On Saturday, the Whitecaps will head back home to take on the third-place Mariners in an East Division showdown, with the first pitch at 4:00 pm.