Whitecaps stumble in stone dust as they fall in Wareham for second time this season

Josh Pearson (LSU) has been nothing short of spectacular in a Whitecaps uniform so far, but his three-hit, two-RBI day couldn’t save Brewster from its own mistakes Friday. Photo credit Sadie Parker

by Eamonn Ryan

WAREHAM—The sun was shining as the Brewster Whitecaps pulled into Spillane Field for their second away affair with Wareham Friday evening, but that’s where the differences between the two games ended and the similarities began.

The Whitecaps (9-12-2) once again allowed the big inning to bite them and struggled to drive in men on base as they stumbled to a 12-5 loss to the Gatemen (10-11-2).

Brewster came in on a three-game winning streak, but their trip over the Sagamore Bridge seemed to erase any good vibes that they had built. The Whitecaps kept pace with the Gatemen in the hit column, racking up 11 hits compared to Wareham’s 12, but left seven runners on base and struck out 13 times while also making three errors in the field.

“Never fun to lose, obviously after winning three games in a row, feeling pretty good coming in,” said pitching coach Brian Del Rosso. “Not able to really muster up enough.”

The scoring wasn’t clustered for Brewster; it came in spats throughout the game. It began in the top of the first, as left fielder Josh Pearson (LSU) cranked a home run off the Wareham scoreboard in right-center to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead, his fourth RBI in his first two games as a Whitecap.

“I mean, I felt it off the bat, thought it was a homer,” Pearson said. “It felt good to definitely see it get out and hit the scoreboard.”

That lead wouldn’t last for long, however, as the Gatemen used a four-run second inning to strike back with a vengeance, highlighted by a three-run home run for former LSU outfielder Josh Stevenson (Ohio State).

Just because they were down, Brewster did not give in easily, but they only answered with a run in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from James Tibbs (Florida State), his team-leading fourth of the season and second in two games to cut the deficit to 4-2 Wareham.

Tibbs (middle, number 33) celebrates with his teammates after his fourth-inning solo shot. His four home runs tie him for second in the Cape League this summer. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) was the next Whitecap to join the effort, roping a one-out double down the left-field line to score Will Turner (South Alabama) all the way from first base in the top of the fifth. But even that was marred by a mistake, as Diaz got caught in between second and third trying to advance on a throw and became the second out of the inning.

Righty newcomer Austin Gordon (Clemson) exited after four innings of work. After giving up four runs, Gordon settled down and retired the final seven batters he faced. He only allowed three hits and two walks in his outing, but Stevenson’s home run added plenty of ink to the scorebook.

“Obviously not, you know, the start that you’d like to have coming in but I think all in all, it wasn’t a horrible start,” Del Rosso said. “He’s still pretty electric and it gets him ready for the next start coming back out.”

Brewster’s shortcomings on the defensive side showed up in the bottom of the fifth, as Jake Marshall (Rutgers) entered for Gordon and gave up four runs off three hits, an error and a mental error on an incorrect fielder’s choice that loaded the bases for the Gatemen, who capitalized and made it 8-3. 

Brewster went down 1-2-3 in the sixth and then left four runners on in the seventh and eighth innings, mustering one run off a Turner RBI single in the seventh. Meanwhile, Wareham kept up their barrage of runs, scoring once in the sixth and thrice in the eighth thanks to a two-run blast by Garen Caulfield (Arizona).

Down 12-4 in the ninth, the white flag seemed to be waving high from the Brewster dugout, but Pearson picked up another RBI off a hard-hit single to score Diaz.

“Just trying to get the RBI when there’s one to get,” Pearson said. “With two strikes, just tried to stick to my approach, hit something back up the middle.”

Pearson finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBI and has made his mark early on a Whitecaps ballclub that now has four home runs in its past two games.

The LSU product tried his best to uplift a ballclub that has now fallen to 0-2-1 against former Whitecaps pitching coach Ryan Smyth—who now manages Wareham—but his hot bat couldn’t overcome a slew of mistakes.

“Just ready for tomorrow,” Del Rosso said. “Ready to put this one behind us.”

Brewster has completed their off-Cape portion of the season but stays on the road in the West division Saturday evening with a matchup in Hyannis at 6 p.m.

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