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April 18, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey, Chavis, Gunsolus break out

4/18 Cup of Coffee: Both Salem and Pawtucket rallied in the ninth inning to grab wins, with clutch hits from Sean Coyle and Yoan Moncada. Michael Chavis, Josh Ockimey, and Mitchell Gunsolus had huge days at the plate for Greenville. Aaron Wilkerson pitched well again, and 2015 sixteenth round pick Marc Brakeman made his 2016 debut for the Drive.


The PawSox used a dramatic ninth inning to pull away with a win. Sean Coyle came through with a two-run single in the inning to break a 4-4 tie. Chris Marrero tied the game with a sacrifice fly to score Blake Swihart who doubled to lead off the ninth. Swihart finished 1 for 5 in his first Triple-A game this year. Deven Marrero had a huge game in the leadoff spot, reaching in 5 of 6 plate appearances with three hits and two walks. Rusney Castillo and Sam Travis each went 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Roenis Elias delivered a decent outing, lasting 5 2/3 innings while allowing two earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. Jorge Marban tossed 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball despite three walks. Anthony Varvaro blew the save after allowing two runs in the eighth inning, but Wesley Wright shut the door in the ninth after Pawtucket's rally.


The Sea Dogs bullpen struggled after Aaron Wilkerson delivered his third straight solid outing. He threw six shutout innings and allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out five. He now has a 0.54 ERA this year. Simon Mercedes gave up five runs (three earned) and Mitch Atkins gave up three runs, despite none of them being earned, and recorded three strikeouts.

The Sea Dogs offense mustered just six singles and two walks on the afternoon. Aneury Tavarez and Jordan Weems each reached twice, going 1 for 3 with a walk.


Similar to the PawSox, Salem rallied in the ninth inning on the way to a victory. Deiner Lopez singled and stole second with one out in the ninth to get Salem going, then Yoan Moncada and Danny Mars ripped back-to-back ground-rule doubles to put Salem on top. Moncada finished 2 for 4 with a walk and three stolen bases. Jordan Betts went 3 for 5 with a double, and Lopez and Bryan Hudson each went 2 for 4. Andrew Benintendi also added his fifth triple of the campaign.

Dedgar Jimenez pitched very well for Salem, throwing six innings and allowing one run on five hits. He did not walk or strikeout anyone. Mario Alcantara and Jake Drehoff combined for three perfect innings to close the game, with Alcantara throwing the seventh and eighth innings and Drehoff getting the save in the ninth.


The Drive slugged their way to a win on the strength of 18 hits. Everybody in the starting nine had at least one hit with six guys recording multiple hits. Mitchell Gunsolus launched his first two home runs of the season as part of a 2 for 5 game. Josh Ockimey went 4 for 5 with a double and a home run. Michael Chavis also stayed hot and upped his batting average to .350 by going 3 for 5, including a double and his first home run.

Marc Brakeman saw his first action of 2016, pitching four innings while allowing two runs and seven hits. He punched out four and did not walk anybody. Austin Glorius picked up the win by going 2 2/3 innings and surrendering just one run. Victor Diaz struggled, giving up two runs and four walks in 2/3 of an inning. Anyelo Leclerc got the save by pitching the last 1 2/3 innings.


Player of the Night: Josh Ockimey was off to a rough start, batting just .190 after Thursday's games. Now, he has his average up to .324, largely because of a 4 for 5 performance on Sunday. He also flashed his impressive power with a double and his third home run on the season. The 20-year old now has an OPS of 1.086 on the young season.

Photo Credit: Josh Ockimey by Kelly O'Connor