Harbor Hawks pick up third straight win in Brewster shootout

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BREWSTER, Mass. — A pair of fresh faces in head coach Mitch Karraker's lineup shined on a chilly Saturday night at Stony Brook Field. Both Jaxson West (Florida State) and Blake Cavill (Western Kentucky) played big parts in the Harbor Hawks' 12-7 road victory over the Brewster Whitecaps.

Newcomer West had quite the debut with the Hawks (8-4-1) on Saturday. The left-handed hitting catcher knotted things up in the top of the fourth, secured the game-winning hit in the sixth and added insurance in the ninth. Despite hitting in the nine-hole, the Tallahassee native went a ballistic 4-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored.

"[West's] debut couldn't have gone any better," Karraker said. "He delivered some huge hits for us and was great behind the plate defensively. He has got a lot of energy, it's contagious to this team already."

Cavill also greeted Hyannis with a warm welcome. The Hawks' new left-handed power threat turned his hands on the first changeup he saw and didn’t miss. Cavill, a native of Australia, deposited Luke Schmolke’s pitch to cut the Brewster (5-8) lead in half in the top of the second frame.

Crooked numbers were not hard to come by on what was a windy summer night. Ryder Helfrick, the Brewster backstop, clocked a mammoth two-run home run off Trey Beard (Florida Atlantic), and Jayden Hylton scored after a throwing error in the bottom of the second. The Whitecaps added to their lead, commanding the contest 5-1 after two.

Hyannis didn’t go away. In the top of the third, Wallace Clark (Duke) collected an RBI, the switch-hitting infielder took the ball the other way with a quick-twitch flare that dropped just behind the Whitecaps shortstop. Michael Dattalo (Dallas Baptist) then did a job, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. Both West and Kane Kepley (Liberty) scored.

"I'm really proud of our guys just sticking with our plan and approach [Saturday]," Karraker said. "I thought every guy in the lineup took competitive at-bats, the bullpen did a nice job behind [Beard], and we made a few really nice plays on defense.

Hyannis veteran Jon Jon Gazdar (Austin Peay) stepped up after Hyannis grabbed the lead. He provided a pair of hits in the later innings, and a couple of two-out RBI to make sure things didn't get hairy.

"I'm just trying to take things one day at a time," Gazdar said. "This is a super fun team. [Coach Karraker] has been telling us to just keep things simple, and have fun. I'd say the team has been doing that, and wins are following."

Beard was not his usual sharp self against Brewster, the crafty southpaw was knocked out of the game early after letting up consistent loud contact. His final line was two innings, five hits, five runs, two walks and one strikeout. The impending sophomore made his third and final start of the summer on Saturday.

Luckily, the Hyannis bullpen picked up Beard. Both Jason Reitz (transfer portal) and Aaron Mishoulam (Michigan State) were fantastic in relief. Reitz carved up the Whitecap bats, throwing three scoreless innings — he struck out four and earned the win. Mishoulam came in after Reitz and continued the momentum, also chucking a trio of shutout frames to inherit a hold.

While Hyannis did punch back on offense, these two relievers came up big on Saturday, holding a capable Brewster offense scoreless for six straight innings. Reitz and Mishoulam tower their opponents on the mound, combining for 13 feet, five inches of height.

After coming out victorious for a third straight time, the Harbor Hawks head back to familiar McKeon Park on Sunday. Hyannis faces red-hot rival Cotuit in a clash of West supremacy at 6 p.m.

"[Sunday] is a big game against Cotuit," Karraker said. "Things obviously didn't go as planned last time we played that team, and I think that left a bit of a sour taste in our mouth, so I'm really looking forward to that one."

Sam Fosberg can be reached at samfozsports@gmail.com and followed on Twitter/X @discussbaseball