Daniel Cuvet’s moonshot powers Whitecaps to 4-3 win over Cotuit


COTUIT, Mass. — As Daniel Cuvet dug in for a 2-1 pitch in the sixth inning, Whitecaps pitching coach Brian Del Rosso leaned over to manager Jamie Shevchik in the dugout.

“This kid is gonna leave a ball up,” Del Rosso told Shevchik.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Shevchik replied. “He’s gonna leave a ball up in the zone, and Cuvet is gonna smash it.”

The prediction was correct on all fronts. Kettleers pitcher Andrew Behnke left a fastball down the middle, and Cuvet sent it 454 feet to left-center field. The solo blast gave Brewster (9-11) a run that proved key in a 4-3 win over Cotuit (12-8) at Lowell Park on Tuesday night — the Whitecaps' fourth win in six days.

The home run was the longest home run Cuvet has hit with a wooden bat, and it was four feet shy of the farthest he had ever hit, which came during his freshman year at Miami.

“I went into it with a ‘If I get out, I get out. If I get a hit, I get a hit’ mindset,” Cuvet said. “[Behnke’s] changeup was alright and he just left a fastball down the middle, and I just took a good swing and hit it out.”

Ryder Helfrick (Arkansas) got things started in the top of the first with a solo home run of his own, cranking a 3-0 fastball over the left-center wall for a 1-0 lead. He now has six home runs, tied for second in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Helfrick’s shot was all the Whitecaps could muster against Cotuit starter James Ellwanger (Dallas Baptist), who allowed only one more hit in 3 2/3 innings.

Cade Fisher (Florida) replaced Ellwanger in the middle of the fourth and surrendered a second run in the fifth. After punching out the first two hitters, first baseman Blake Binderup (Texas A&M) singled and took second base on a wild pitch. Center fielder Nick Dumesnil (Cal Baptist) cashed in with an RBI single to center.

On the other side of the ball, Brewster starter Ryan Ure (Oklahoma State) delivered his best outing of the summer. The 6-foot-9 lefty pitched four innings, limiting the Kettleers to two hits and one run, which came in the bottom of the second when Cotuit center fielder Charles Davalan (Arkansas) roped an RBI double down the right field line.

Ure struggled with his control against Harwich on July 3, walking five in 1 2/3 innings on the bump. On Tuesday, he seemed like a new pitcher.

“He got through four innings by keeping the pitch count down, and was just a different guy,” Shevchik said. “He didn’t try to work the corners, told our catcher to set down the middle, let him use his stuff to throw as many strikes as he can. And he did.”

Ryan Ure throws a pitch in Brewster's 4-3 win over Cotuit Tuesday night. Ure tossed 4.0 innings, limiting the Kettleers to one run and two hits. Photo credit: Avery Raimondo.

Ure pitched for the Whitecaps in 2022 and was slated to come back in 2023 until Tommy John surgery kept him sidelined. A prospect eligible for the 2024 MLB Draft, he made his return from injury with the Cowboys in the spring and arrived in Brewster on June 26.

Cuvet launched his home run to make it 3-1 in the sixth off Behnke, who replaced Fisher just before his at-bat.

Luke Guth (Vanderbilt), who replaced Ure in the fifth, loaded the bases with one out in the sixth after first baseman Tanner Thach (UNC Wilmington) doubled and shortstop Temo Becerra (Stanford) and catcher Brooks Bryan (Troy) both walked.

Pinch hitter Max Belyeu (Texas) hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2, but Guth fanned left fielder Brandon Compton to end the frame without any further damage.

Thanks to some heads-up baserunning, Kaeden Kent earned the Whitecaps the eventual winning run in the seventh. The second baseman lined a one-out double to left, then stole third base on a ball in the dirt. Bryan’s throw to third was wide and Kent shuttled home with ease.

The Texas A&M product also had an impressive day in the field, highlighted by a diving, over-the-shoulder catch in the bottom of the third.

“He’s a really good baseball player,” Shevchik said of Kent. “That’s one of the reasons why I wanted him right from the beginning and couldn’t wait to get him here. He’s a complete guy … he’s one of the better players in the league.”

Shevchik turned to an experienced arm, Zach Johnston (Wake Forest) to close things out. The southpaw gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth on a Belyeu single, but he got out of the frame with a clutch strikeout of Compton and worked a scoreless ninth to seal the game.

The result moves the Whitecaps to 9-11 at the halfway point of the season — just ahead of the MLB Draft (July 14-16), when players from across the league will leave their respective teams to sign pro contracts.

“It seems like they’re starting to play pretty good baseball, competitive baseball,” Shevchik said. “Everybody else in the league is going to take a little bit of a hit. And now, do we start taking a hit from a personnel standpoint? Does this guy get hurt? Does this guy leave? ... This is the big part right now to see if the guys are actually gonna stick around to see this thing through.”