Whitecaps take an early lead, secure win, thanks to clutch pitching Tuesday evening.

Starter Sam Garcia in the midst of his seven strikeout performance Tuesday evening. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

BREWSTER — The Whitecaps’ pitching struggled throughout the first three games of the season, but the staff came back firing Tuesday night, only giving up two runs in a 4-2 win over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (2-2-0).

Brewster (2-1-1) defeated the Harbor Hawks thanks to a collective effort led by starter Sam Garcia (High Point) and joined by relievers Davin Pollard (Austin Peay), Patrick Forbes (Louisville) and closer Ben Gorski (Rutgers). They combined to give up seven hits, along with three walks, and recorded 14 strikeouts.

“Today we kind of just pitched to contact. We limited the traffic on the field,” Whitecaps’ coach Jamie Shevchik said. “I thought our pitchers did a really good job… our starter went out there and did what we needed him to do and then the bullpen came in and did a great job.”

Brewster scored the game’s first runs in the second inning off an RBI single to left field by second baseman Trevor Austin (Missouri), scoring right fielder Jaime Ferrer (Florida State), who reached base off an error earlier in the inning.

With one out remaining in the inning, Austin and catcher Weston Eberly (Georgia) found themselves on second and third after a single by Eberly and a wild pitch. First baseman Brock Tibbitts (Indiana) smoked a single to center field, scoring Austin and Eberly, giving Brewster a three-run lead, which was all the Whitecaps needed offensively.

Starting pitcher Sam Garcia powered through Hyannis’ lineup in the first two innings, giving up one hit and no runs. In the third, the Harbor Hawks rallied to score two runs off four hits, though Garcia limited the damage by striking out two batters in the inning. The southpaw finished his outing with seven punchouts.

“The fastball was really good. I was executing the slider early on. That’s usually a big pitch for me when that pitch is on,” Garcia said. “I noticed that when I was hanging a few pitches that they were getting hits and all I could think about was just what I’m good at…which is inside fastballs and playing my pitches off of that.”

Pollard came in out of relief and threw three scoreless innings with one hit, two walks, and four strikeouts. He silenced Hyannis’ offense, giving Brewster a chance to expand on their narrow lead.

“Our pitching staff really commanded the zone well today. They attacked early,” Eberly said. “We got a lot of hitters off balance.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Ferrer walked and Eberly doubled to set up runners on second and third against Hyannis’ reliever Hayden Frank (Lipscomb), who had blanked the Whitecaps in the fourth and fifth innings. With leadoff hitter Dylan Hoy (Louisville) up to the plate, Ferrer scored on a wild pitch but one run was all the Whitecaps could muster from the inning.

Center fielder James Tibbs records the third out to silence the Harbor Hawks in the sixth inning. Photo credit: Sadie Parker

Two-way player Patrick Forbes, fresh off a strong offense performance Sunday evening, threw a scoreless seventh inning for the Whitecaps. In the eighth, Forbes got into trouble after giving up a single to shortstop Eric Snow (South Florida) and an error advancing Snow to third and giving center fielder Trey Lipsey (Ohio State) first base on the play.

Brewster’s pitching was faltering at this point, and it seemed that the Whitecaps might give up their lead as Hyannis’ offense was gaining momentum. Then, Lipsey attempted to steal second base and was thrown out by Eberly, who fired a rocket to Austin. 

“I knew he was going to go. I saw him kind of inch in a little bit,” Eberly said. “I was happy that someone went because I was waiting all game for someone to go.”

Brewster would not score in the bottom of the eighth, leaving Brewster with a two-run lead going into the ninth inning. Gorski entered the game and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to notch the save.

The Whitecaps look to stay in the win column Wednesday evening against the Cotuit Kettleers at Lowell Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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