SoxProspects News

August 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz homers twice; Netzer paces Drive


8/24 Cup of Coffee: After three years of marking time in Pawtucket, Bryce Brentz (pictured) has made some adjustments to his swing, and he now has a 30-home run season to show for his efforts. He blasted two more as part of the PawSox win. Salem got a walk-off win to keep them a game up in their playoff race, while the DSL Red Sox kept pace as well with a doubleheader split. Greenville put up a monster day offensively, led by Brett Netzer and Stanley Espinal.


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Bryce Brentz continued his impressive comeback season with a pair of home runs that led the way. A solo shot in the fifth and a three-run blast in the sixth made up four of the PawSox five runs, and gave the 2010 supplemental first-round pick an even 30 for the season. It is the second 30-homer season of Brentz's career, as he pulled off the feat way back in a 2011 season split between Greenville and Salem. Kyle Kendrick was solid in his start, allowing three runs in five innings, before the trio of Carson Smith, Marcus Walden, and Austin Maddox dominated with four scoreless innings to seal the win.


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The Sea Dogs got little going against former first-round pick Dillon Tate. Chad De La Guerra picked up three of the team's six hits, and his solo homer accounted for the only run scoring. Josh Tobias also had a pair of hits, including a double. Starter Henry Owens continues to adjust to his new lower arm slot. The lefty allowed only two hits in five innings, but he showed significant wildness in the first three frames: five walks, three hit batsman, and three wild pitches. In 45 innings since moving down from Pawtucket, Owens has walked 44.

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The Red Sox got a dramatic walk-off win in the 10th inning as they continue their playoff push. A Conrad Gregor base hit plated Mike Meyers, who had led off the inning with a double. It capped a big night for Meyers, who had previously tripled and driven in a run. Starter Logan Boyd struggled with his control, walking seven in four innings, but Pat Goetze and Matthew Gorst picked up the slack, combining to allow just one run in six innings of relief.

With the win, Salem remains a game ahead of Frederick for second place in the Carolina League Northern Division with 11 contests remaining. Lynchburg has built what is likely an insurmountable eight-game lead for first place, but with Lynchburg also having won the first-half crown the second-place finisher will earn a playoff berth. That race is very tight, will four teams all within 3 1/2 games.

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Having already clinched its playoff spot when it won the first-half crown in the Southern Division, Greenville and Brett Netzer (pictured) had a successful tuneup on Wednesday evening. Netzer, who came into the Columbia series in a 6-for-35 slump, was 4 for 4 with a double, stolen base, and four RBI following his three-hit night in Tuesday's series opener. Stanley Espinal also had a four-hit performance, adding a double, three runs, and a stolen base. Bobby Dalbec doubled twice, and Ryan Scott blasted a grand slam for the second consecutive night. Jhonathan Diaz turned in a solid start while benefiting from the offensive outburst. The 20-year-old lefty allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings.

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Nobody got hurt, and LeLacheur Park is a great place to watch a game on a temperate late summer night.

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It was an offensive explosion, as the GCL Sox had 13 hits and 24 baserunners. Tyler Dearden was unstoppable, going 4 for 4 with a home run, walk, and five RBI. Everlouis Lozada and Pedro Castellanos have been the steadiest performers all season on offense, and that continued Wednesday. Lozada ripped a pair of doubles and walked twice as part of his three-hit day, and Castellanos raised his average to .357 with his 2-for-5 effort. Sixth-round pick Zach Schellenger made his second appearance and struggled with his control, walking three in 1 1/3 innings.

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The DSL Sox, who started the day a 1/2 game out of first place in the Northwest Division and a 1/2 game up in the wild card race, kicked off a grueling stretch of six games in four days with a doubleheader. The opener saw them on the short end of a pitchers duel, as the team compiled only a pair of singles in a shutout loss. Rafael Gomez was the losing pitcher despite allowing just one run on two five hits in five innings. 

It was another low-scoring affair, but this time the Red Sox prevailed in a much-needed walk-off win. Isaac Pinales was outstanding in his start, striking out eight and allowing just an unearned run in six innings. Jose Larez fired a scoreless seventh to get credit for the win. The ending was of the wild variety that often comes from the DSL. Willis Figueroa led off the inning as a pinch hitter and reached base when he was hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, to third on an error, and came home to score the winning run on a wild pitch. 

Both the Dodgers1 and Rangers2 squads also had doubleheaders on Wednesday, and both teams also managed splits, so there is no change in the standings. The Sox remain a 1/2 game up in the wild card and 1/2 game behind in the division with four games remaining over the next three days.

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Player of the Day: Brentz, Dearden, and Espinal would have been totally worthy of this recognition, but Brett Netzer gets the nod for his role in the Greenville rout. Netzer was 4 for 4 with four RBI, making him 7 for 9 in the first two games of the Columbia series. After getting promoted following just 22 games at Lowell, Netzer seems to be finding his groove in Low A, raising his OPS by .146 in the last two days.

Photo Credit: Bryce Brentz, Brett Netzer by Kelly O'Connor

 
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