Third baseman Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) had the lone RBI in the Whitecaps’ 9-2 loss at Wareham Monday. Photo credit Sadie Parker.
by Eamonn Ryan
WAREHAM—The Brewster Whitecaps recorded hits in seven of nine innings in their 9-2 loss to the Wareham Gatemen (7-6-2) Monday evening, but that didn’t translate into runs on a buggy, humid day at Spillane Field.
Brewster (6-7-2) once again struggled to put good at-bats together in clutch situations, as they left 10 runners on base and struck out 13 times against a Wareham pitching staff that ranks last in the league in strikeouts.
The Gatemen also scored nine runs off nine hits, but the killers were key walks and hit-by-pitches that allowed them to get runners on.
“They start and end with getting ahead and staying ahead,” said Whitecaps pitching coach Brian Del Rosso. “When we don’t do that, when we get behind, the at-bats are night and day. The bats are different. The hitters have the advantage.”
Wareham pushed across two runs in the second inning after David Glancy (St. John’s) and Landon Wallace (West Virginia) reached via a base hit and a hit-by-pitch, respectively, and then both later scored.
The scoring came in bunches for the Gatemen, with three runs in the fourth inning, three more in the sixth and one in the seventh. No Whitecaps pitcher had performances deemed stellar, although righty Josh Sanders (Texas Tech), who got the start, began the game well with a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Brewster’s inability to drive in runs — they outhit Wareham 10-9 — and tendency to allow free baserunners were a staple of their five-game losing streak that began with a tie with Wareham June 19.
“You look back at some of the runs they scored early, it’s a walk, a hit batsman, a two-out walk, two-out hit batsman and those runs come back to bite you,” Del Rosso said.
The Whitecaps’ runs came in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, right fielder Patrick Forbes (Louisville) singled and center fielder Will Turner (South Alabama) did the same before third baseman Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) singled Forbes home. With one out and runners on the corners, the Whitecaps could have added more on and threatened, but two strikeouts dashed any hopes of building a comeback.
Brewster pushed a run across in the sixth after catcher Dylan Leach (Missouri State) was hit by a pitch and later scored off two wild pitches. That made it a 5-2 ballgame, still very much in reach.
But when the Gatemen got three runs in the sixth off three hits, two free baserunners and a passed ball, the Whitecaps could not supply much of a response.
There were few bright spots, including the resurgence of Turner, who went 3-for-5 and looked just as commanding in centerfield as before a wrist injury that sidelined him for two weeks. Turner made just his second start since June 14 and had made a few pinch hit appearances but didn’t look comfortable swinging a bat.
His presence in a depleted Whitecaps outfield has a calming effect and his leadership plays a major role on the field.
“I take pride with it in school and here. It’s just the way that I carry myself on the field is a very big thing to me,” Turner said. “I might not be the most talkative and I might look super serious, but I’m loving every second of it. And I go as hard as I can every day.”
Turner raised his average to .308 this season, but the Whitecaps’ winning percentage dipped below .500, though they remain in third place in the East division behind Harwich and Yarmouth-Dennis.
“Just one of those that you’re just gonna look to put in the rearview mirror and get ready for tomorrow, for sure,” Del Rosso said.
Brewster returns home Tuesday night for a matchup with the Orleans Firebirds at Stony Brook Field at 5 p.m.