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April 29, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Swihart continues to sizzle, Witte impresses for Sea Dogs

4/29 Cup of Coffee: Blake Swihart continued to swing a hot bat, contributing to another win for the PawSox, while Jantzen Witte (pictured) was an on-base machine in Portland's two completed games. Jamie Callahan had a promising performance after a shaky start to the season, and Javier Guerra continued to drive the ball for Greenville. 


Appearing in his first game since being added to the PawSox from extended spring training, Jess Todd threw four scoreless innings to lead Pawtucket to it's 13th victory of the season. Robby Scott followed Todd by allowing only an unearned run over three innings, and Dana Eveland picked up the save with two innings of shutout ball. 

The PawSox did all of their scoring in the first two innings, led by Matt Spring, Blake Swihart, and Bryce Brentz who each drove in runs. Swihart finished the game going 2 for 3 with a walk, and he is now hitting .395 over his last 12 games. Brentz was on base twice via a double and a walk, and Deven Marrero walked and singled, but also committed his third error of the season.


In the completion of a suspended game from Monday, the Mets pulled away in a high-scoring affair. The game resumed in the second inning with the score tied at two, and it did not take long for the Mets to strike against the Portland bullpen. Luis Diaz allowed two runs over two innings on Monday, and Jonathan Aro took the mound when the game resumed last night. Aro was hit hard, allowing seven runs, four earned, on six hits in only three innings. Madison Younginer tossed the final four innings, surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out two.

Jantzen Witte tried to single-handedly keep Portland in the game, collecting three hits and two walks in his five plate appearances. He finished a home run short of the cycle and drove in two runs while pushing his average to .390. Mike Miller added three hits as well, while Kevin Heller went 2 for 4 with two doubles. 

It was more of the same from the Portland pitching staff in the second game of the night, as the Mets got to Mike Augliera for seven runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Simon Mercedes and Pat Light were able to limit the damage with strong relief appearances, but the Portland offense could not climb out of the hole. A Keury De La Cruz double and a Blake Tekotte single were the only hits for the Sea Dogs. 


Jacob Dahlstrand's quest to win the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award hit a bit of a speed bump last night, but the Red Sox still managed to come away victorious. Dahlstrand allowed three runs over four innings, walking two and striking out five, while his ERA ballooned by a full run to 1.96. The bullpen was excellent for Salem, with Jorge Marban and Joe Gunkel each tossing two scoreless innings. 

Salem got off to a hot start offensively, as the first three batters of the game walked before Aneury Tavarez drove them all home with a triple. Sam Travis got above the Mendoza Line with a 2 for 3 performance that included a walk and a double, and Cole Sturgeon went 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. 


Jamie Callahan turned in his best start of the year, but it was not enough, as the Drive fell to the Intimidators. Callahan struck out seven while allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings, with both runs scoring in the bottom of the sixth have he started to lose his control. Reed Reilly recorded the final eight outs, with half of those coming on strikeouts. 

The Drive bats were mostly stifled by the Intimidators, but Javier Guerra did the most damage, with both of his hits going for doubles. Guerra has shown a surprising amount of pop so far in the season, slugging seven extra-base hits in 14 games. Rafael Devers has shown a surprising lack of power this year, but he did hit a double last night. Devers is hitting an impressive .286 over 15 games, but the double was only his third extra-base hit of the season, with the other two going for two-bases as well. 


Player of the Night: Despite going 0 for 2 with a walk in the regularly scheduled game, Jantzen Witte gets the nod after reaching base five times in the suspended game from Monday. The 25-year-old third baseman has been one of the top performers in the system over the first few weeks of the season, and he is leading the Sea Dogs in almost every major offensive category. Witte is coming off a very good 2014 season, and he has managed to carry that success into the upper minors in 2015.

Photo Credit: Jantzen Witte by Kelly O'Connor