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May 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart, Bello highlight a night of strong pitching

5/15 Cup of Coffee:
Pitching was the story on Friday evening, as all four starters turned in strong performances. Kyle Hart (pictured) turned in six no-hit innings, but patience paid off for Worcester in extra innings. Brayan Bello and Shane Drohan both allowed just two hits apiece to lead Greenville and Salem, respectively. The only loss of the night came in Double-A as Portland fell despite a strong effort from Kutter Crawford.


The WooSox got some excellent execution from starter Kyle Hart. The southpaw reeled off six innings of no-hit baseball, striking out six while walking four. A solo homer off the bat of Marcus Wilson in the second inning put Worcester in front, but the bullpen could not hold Hart's no-hitter or his lead. The Mets were happy to see Hart exit, connecting against John Schreiber for a one-out solo homer in the seventh to tie up the contest.

In another case of the extra-inning rules leading to bad and anti-climactic baseball, the WooSox put away the victory in the 10th despite not registering a hit. A Jarren Duran ground out against old friend Stephen Nogosek advanced automatic runner Jett Bandy to third base with just one out. A pair of intentional walks loaded the bases when Nogosek induced a pop up out of Yairo Munoz, putting the infield fly rule into effect. Wilson then worked the bases-loaded free pass, plating Bandy for the literal walk-off.


It was a devastating walk-off loss at Dunkin' Donuts Park, with Hartford scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to complete the comeback. Kutter Crawford turned in a second consecutive good outing as he makes his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Crawford allowed one run on three hits in four innings, walking one and striking out seven. The three hits were actually the most allowed by any of the starters in the system Friday. Grant Williams had a big night at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two runs scored. Hartford was able to keep Triston Casas in the yard, limiting him to a single and an RBI.


It's been an uneven start to the season for many of the Red Sox top-ranked pitching prospects, but Brayan Bello has been an early bright spot. The 21-year-old righty, currently ranked 24th in the system, picked up his second win in as many starts, allowing one run on two hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked one, and the only blemish came on a solo homer in the third. Brandon Cellucci was activated from the injured list and made his 2021 debut, striking out one in a perfect ninth inning. Kole Cottam was the standout at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a solo homer, while driving in three of Greenville's five runs. Nick Sogard also went deep for the Drive. Cameron Cannon, who led the NCAA in doubles in 2019, picked up two more on Friday to give him six for the year.


Shane Drohan rounded out the roster of starters who impressed. The 2020 fifth-round pick out of Florida State allowed just two hits across five scoreless innings, striking out four and walking one. Drohan was efficient as well, needing just 67 pitches to get through five, throwing 43 of them for strikes. Devon Roedahl and Jacinto Arredondo followed with two scoreless innings apiece. A two-run double by Nick Northcut gave Drohan all the support he needed. Joe Davis had a big night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.


Player of the Day: An argument could be made for any of the evening's starters, but the no-hit effort gets the nod here. Kyle Hart, so sharp in 2019 that he forced his way onto the 40-man roster, was back in form with six hitless frames in his first Polar Park appearance. Hart struggled in a brief major league showing last season but has a solid 3.85 ERA in 110 innings at the Triple-A level.

Photo Credit: Kyle Hart by Kelly O'Connor