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April 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz walks off for PawSox home opener

4/17 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket got back in the win column with a clutch, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth from Bryce Brentz (pictured, left) on Opening Night at McCoy Stadium. Salem, meanwhile, pounded out 13 runs on 16 hits in a runaway victory paced by Manuel Margot, and Oscar Tejeda. Portland and Greenville were each on the losing end of walk-offs after blowing late leads in their games.


Pawtucket Red Sox 8, Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 7
The PawSox scored five unanswered runs in the final four innings, capped off by a Bryce Brentz walk-off solo home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth that he crushed over everything in left. The win was much needed, coming a day after failing to score a run against Buffalo in a doubleheader. Brentz went 3 for 4 with three runs scored on the game out of the cleanup spot. Blake Swihart had a big night at the plate, including the game-tying, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh. He went 3 for 4 with three RBI and a run scored. Deven Marrero and Sean Coyle started the comeback with back-to-back home runs in the sixth.

Steven Wright struggled on the mound for Pawtucket, laboring through five innings pitched. He walked four and gave up eight hits, while surrendering seven runs. Only three of those runs were earned however, thanks to a pair of errors on the outfield by Brentz and Quentin Berry. Miguel Celestino worked out of a pair of jams in relief to keep Pawtucket in striking distance. He induced a bases loaded double play in the sixth and worked around men on second and third in the seventh. Dana Eveland earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.


Trenton Thunder (NYY) 3, Portland Sea Dogs 2 (10 inn.)
Portland was unable to hold onto a late lead against Trenton, as Dayan Diaz gave up the game-tying RBI single with two outs in the ninth and Madison Younginer surrendered the game-winning home run in the bottom of the tenth. That spoiled good performances by starter Luis Diaz and Simon Mercedes in relief. Diaz gave up just one run on five hits while striking out six and walking just one in 5 1/3 innings and Mercedes was dominant in relief, throwing 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts.

Keury De La Cruz provided one of the few offensive highlights of the game for Portland, going 2 for 4 with a game-tying solo shot in the seventh. Carlos Asuaje drove in the other run for Portland on a 1-for-4 night.


Salem Red Sox 13, Carolina Mudcats (ATL) 3
Manuel Margot (pictured, right) continued his red-hot first week of the season, going 3 for 5 with three runs scored, a pair of RBI in the blowout win. Margot collected a triple and raised his early season average to .409. Oscar Tejeda roped a pair of doubles to collect two RBI. Forrestt Allday had his second big game of the week going, 3 for 3 with three RBI on two doubles, a run scored, and a sacrifice bunt. Salem plated five runs in the third inning on four hits, with two runs coming via wild pitches. They also collected three walks in the inning and Allday advanced on a balk.

Jacob Dahlstrand didn't throw a no-hitter, but he was solid in his second outing of the year. He went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out four and walking two. Mike Adams picked up the save with three innings of relief. He allowed just two hits, including a solo home run, and struck out a pair.


Asheville Tourists (COL) 5, Greenville Drive 4 (11 inn.)
Greenville, like Portland, was also the victim of a late collapse and an extra-inning, walk-off loss. Jake Drehoff was charged with the three runs that tied the game in the eight, but it was Mario Alcantara who was charged with the blown save. The first batter he faced greeted him with the game-tying double. It was unfortunate because Alcantara was dominant otherwise, striking out five in 2 2/3. First baseman Cisco Tellez came on in relief of Alcantara and took the loss on a walk-off single. The bullpen wasted a stellar outing by left-handed starter Jalen Beeks, who struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings pitched.

Carlos Mesa had another solid night at the plate, going 3 for 5 with his first home run of the season and bumping his average up to .450. Mauricio Dubon also had a nice night at the dish, going 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.


Player of the Night: For picking up the PawSox after a dismal Wednesday, Bryce Brentz is the Player of the Night. Not only did Brentz play hero at the plate with  walk-off home run, he also gunned down a key runner at third. Brentz, who is hitting .294 to start the year, now has two homers on the season. The 26-year-old outfielder is in his third season with Pawtucket after hitting .243 with 12 home runs at the level in 2014.

Photo Credit: Bryce Brentz and Manuel Margot by Kelly O'Connor