Brewster Whitecaps Win First Cape League Title in 17 Years

BREWSTER – The last time the Brewster Whitecaps hoisted the Cape Cod Baseball League trophy, Justin Timberlake and N’Sync topped the charts with “It’s Gonna Be Me.” Now, J.T. does his own thing and Brewster can call themselves the 2017 Cape Cod Baseball League champions.

Bourne Braves 0

Brewster Whitecaps 2

W: William Tribucher L: Daniel Bies S: Troy Miller

Brewster Wins Series 2-1

Uphill Battle from the Start

Brewster entered the playoffs with a 3rd place finish in the East Division and a matchup with the back-to-back-to-back champions, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. Y-D rinsed the Whitecaps during the regular season going 5-0-1. The Red Sox took home their sixth straight win against Brewster in the first game of round one, eight to five.

With their season on the line, Brewster handed the ball to William Tribucher. Tribucher held a 4.10 ERA in 11 appearances during the regular season, but when the playoffs came around, he turned it up to a whole new level. The Michigan Wolverine hurled seven and two-thirds of 1 run ball, striking out seven and led Brewster to a six to one series tying victory.

The series returned to Yarmouth-Dennis where both the Red Sox and Whitecaps let their bats do the talking. After a back and forth game, Brewster held a two run lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Y-D took advantage of two pitching miscues, a walk and a wild pitch with the bases loaded, to force extra innings. With momentum on their side, the Red Sox faithful thought they dodged a bullet. Wrong. With two outs, Brewster’s AJ Graffanino smacked a double scoring Zack Gahagan. Ryan Cyr came in a shut the door in the bottom of the 10th to complete the upset and stop Y-D’s quest for the four-peat in its tracks.

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire(Birds)

No rest for the underdogs. After defeating preseason favorite, the Whitecaps had to face off against the team with the best record on the Cape, the Orleans Firebirds. The Firebirds, widely considered the hottest team on the Cape, won their games during the season with excellent pitching. A trend that continued in the first game of the series, which they won four to one.

In a familiar place, needing a home victory to extend their season, Brewster bats answered the call. Nick Dunn, Chandler Taylor, and Julian Infante all homered to lead the Whitecaps to a eight to three win.

On the road. Win and move on. The Whitecaps needed another solid pitching performance and Conor McNamara stepped up. McNamara hurled 7 innings of one run ball, only surrendering four hits. However, Orleans’ Taylor Sugg and Jake Wong were equal to the task, combining to only give up one run in 7 innings. Tie-ballgame in the top of the 8th, Martin Costes stepped up to the plate and launched the ball out of the park to give the Whitecaps the lead. Enter Tribucher. Tribucher pitched two flawless innings, no hits, no walks, four strikeouts catapulting Brewster into the championship.

Bring on the Braves

Brewster survived the gauntlet in the West, defeating the two best teams on the Cape to face the Bourne Braves. The Braves swept their way to the finals, putting down the Cotuit Kettleers and the Wareham Gatemen with four straight wins. However, unlike the prior two series, the Whitecaps scored home field advantage for games one and three.

Bourne’s Brian Eichhorn cruised through the first three innings retiring the Whitecaps in order. The Braves held a 1-0 advantage and then Hunter Bishop dug in. Bishop smashed an opposite field three-run home run to get the home crowd roaring to its feet and Brewster, a 3-1 advantage.

Bourne and Brewster would add another run each to make the score 4-2 going into the 9th. Brewster’s Sam Bordner came on to close the game out, but ran into trouble. With two-runners on, Lyle Lin torched a double into the gap scoring both runners and sending the game into extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th, Brewster loaded up the bases with two outs. Bases loaded. Two outs. Championship game. Every kid’s dream. Chandler Taylor stared down the pitcher, waiting for that pitch he would crack into the outfield and end the game. Then the pitch hit him. Game over! Brewster won 5-4 on a hit by pitch in Game 2.

A light mist fell upon Doran Park for game two of the championship, but the rain didn’t stop Brewster from getting off to a hot start. The Whitecaps scored four runs in the top of the second and the away fans started getting their hopes up that they would win the ‘ship on enemy territory. Bourne wouldn’t go away that easy. From that point on the Braves would outscore Brewster 13-3 to force a deciding Game 3.

In Game 3, Brewster turned to its hot hand: William Tribucher. Tribucher, who during the regular season only started three games and had a 4.10 ERA, rose to the occasion. He pitched nearly seven innings of shutout ball, striking out five. Troy Miller then completed the two inning save to secure Brewster’s first title since 2000.

By MATT ST. JEAN, NewsCenter

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