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May 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem cruise, Cecchini not enough to save Greenville

5/23 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem prevailed in close contests while Portland was washed away by rain and Greenville's attempted comeback fell short. 

Garin Cecchini (Kelly O'Connor)
Late clutch offense an an assist from mother nature allowed the PawSox to roll the Norfolk Tides (BAL), 5-3. Tony Pena Jr. received the start for Pawtucket, tossing 3.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 1. Chorye Spoone followed Pena, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Junichi Tazawa picked up the victory for his 2.0 innings of relief, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits while punching out 3. Mark Melancon added a scoreless inning of relief to notch his sixth save. Jose Iglesias' sacrifice fly in the third opened the scoring and gave the PawSox a 1-0 advantage. Down 2-1 in the sixth, Alex Hassan roped a two run home run to put Pawtucket back on top, 3-2. After the Tides tied the contest in the bottom of the sixth, an Igleasis RBI ground out and a Ryan Lavarnway RBI double propelled the PawSox to a 5-3 advantage. The contest was called due to heavy rain after the bottom of the eighth inning, preserving the Pawtucket victory. 

Portland's contest against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats was postponed due to rain. The teams will play a doubleheader this evening beginning at 6:05 PM.

Stellar pitching and a two run seventh inning pushed Salem past the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW), 3-1. Miguel Celestino pitched admirably in his 6.0 inning of work, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5. Jeremiah Bayer received the victory for his 2.0 inning of perfect relief, punching out 3. Michael Olmsted pitched a flawless ninth inning to pick up his tenth save of the season. Down 1-0 in the fourth, Christian Vazquez laced an RBI single to tie the game, 1-1. The game remained knotted until the bottom of the seventh, when a Felix Sanchez RBI ground out and a Sean Coyle RBI triple gave Salem a 3-1 advantage. Winston-Salem was held without a base runner after the fifth inning as Salem hurlers locked down the victory. 

Despite a 15-hit attack and a late comeback, Greenville was unable to overcome the offensive power of the Asheville Tourists (COL), falling 11-9. Yeiper Castillo received his first loss of the season as he was torched for 8 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks in just 3.2 innings. Tyler Wilson relieved Castillo and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 4 walks in 1.2 innings pitched. Tyler Lockwood added 2.2 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 2. Garin Cecchini gave the Drive a quick 2-0 advantage as he blasted a two run home run in the first inning. A Jose Vinicio sacrifice fly in the second expanded the Greenville lead to 3-0. After Asheville plated a run in the bottom of the second, Greenville plated two runs in the top of the third on a Henry Ramos RBI double and Drew Turocy sacrifice fly to take a 5-1 lead. The Tourists responded right back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Drive's lead to 5-3. Keury De La Cruz's RBI single in the top of the fourth gave the Drive a 6-3 advantage. Greenville's lead did not last long, as Asheville brought home five in the bottom of the fourth to claim their first lead of the game, 8-6. Trailing 11-6 in the bottom of the ninth, the Drive rallied for three runs on RBI singles by Vinicio and Jose Garcia. The rally lost steam after a two out pitching change and Greenville was handed their second straight loss. Every member of the Drive's starting lineup had at least one hit, with Cecchini reaching base 5 times, smacking a home run, a single and walking three times. 

Player of the Night: Garin Cecchini, who's went 2 for 2 with a two-run home run, a single, two runs scored and three walks in Greenville's 11-9 loss to Asheville.