Whitecaps Drop Third Straight

by Brad Joyal

BREWSTER – The Brewster Whitecaps are desperate to get on track.

The Whitecaps’ struggles continued Monday evening, when the team suffered a 5-3 loss to Yarmouth-Dennis after it failed to capitalize on opportunities to make winning plays in the field and the batter’s box.

“We have been shooting ourselves in the foot,” Brewster manager Jamie Shevchik said. “We haven’t been playing clean baseball and we’re finding ways to lose instead of finding ways to win. We’re playing the opposite way of how we’re supposed to. I still think this team is really talented, we just need to figure out a way to put it together.”

Monday’s loss marked the third straight defeat for Brewster (3-6). The Whitecaps found themselves trailing 2-0 in the first inning after Whitecaps starter Rocco Reid (Clemson) walked the first batter he faced and his defense committed an error moments later.

Y-D (7-2) didn’t need to register a hit to bring both runners home with groundouts.

Despite the slow start, the Whitecaps were in position to tie the game or take a lead in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on second and third, Nolan Schubart (Oklahoma State) struck out swinging for the final out.

“It’s the tale of two different things,” Shevchik said. “Struggling teams walk the first hitter, make an error, and give up two runs in the first inning without allowing a hit. Struggling teams get the lead hitters on base and then don’t get the big hit at the end.

“If we played clean at the beginning, the outcome may have been different. If we get a base hit at the end, we tie the game up or walk it off. If you look at Aug. 15 and someone asks when it all turned around, it probably would’ve turned around right there with one base hit.”

Even in defeat, Monday was a better outing for Reid, who surrendered seven runs on seven hits in his debut, a 13-5 loss to Falmouth on June 18. On Monday, the lefty allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits over five innings.

“The first inning felt like a microcosm of his last outing, but then he settled in and threw four scoreless innings,” Shevchik said of Reid. “But in this league, two runs are how games are decided. Those first two runs really cost us — you could see the bubble deflated in the dugout.”

The good news for the Whitecaps is help is on the way. The College World Series ended Monday night — Tennessee sealed the national championship with a 6-5 win over Texas A&M — and players from various college teams that played in the World Series will be joining Cape teams in the coming weeks.

Shevchik said their arrival can’t come soon enough.

“We need them here soon,” he said. “It’s not so much from the talent level that’s coming in, what you’re getting from the World Series guys is guys that are used to winning. When you’re struggling, infusing some guys that are proven winners, I think that goes a long way.”

While reinforcements are on the way, the Whitecaps will also lose four players to USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, including Schubart, who hit .300 with three home runs in nine games with Brewster.

As much as Schubart enjoyed his time in Brewster after playing for Chatham last summer, he said he’s also excited about the opportunity to represent the country while donning a USA uniform.

“I’m just excited to be able to play for my country again and to be able to say that I did it,” Schubart said. “Playing for your country, there’s no bigger honor than that.”

Regardless of who is in the lineup, Shevchik said the Whitecaps will have to restore their confidence by simplifying the game and playing clean baseball going forward.

“We just have to change the mentality of what we’re trying to do,” the manager said. “We’re getting a lot of strikeouts with runners in scoring position and we’re giving up runs by guys putting the ball in play and forcing mistakes. There’s a lot that we need to change and a lot of it comes from grinding out at-bats, putting the ball in play and forcing errors.”