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June 21, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yorke and Duran homer; Wu-Yelland leads near no-no

6/21 Cup of Coffee:
A walk-off home run from Jarren Duran (pictured), the first professional home run from Nick Yorke, a walk-off single from Tyreque Reed, and a near no-hitter for Salem made Sunday an interesting day at all levels. Jay Groome continued to miss bats for Greenville, though his control was spotty for a second straight start. Jeremy Wu-Yelland had no control issues as he retired all 12 batters he faced, and Frank German had a strong first appearance out of the bullpen. 


A walk-off three-run home run from Jarren Duran and another spotless relief performance from Kaleb Ort led the WooSox to their 10th win in 11 games. Duran was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts before his opposite-field home run in the 10th inning. It was his 12th home run of the year and he is now hitting .286/.379/.627. He entered the year with just eight career home runs in 199 games. Josh Ockimey added his seventh home run on the year. 

It was another bullpen game for Worcester with Marcus Walden serving as the opener and allowing one run over 2 1/3 innings. Austin Brice and Ort each fired two scoreless innings, and Ort struck out three as he lowered his ERA to 0.45. The win went to Caleb Simpson who pitched a scoreless 10th. 


AJ Politi struggled with his control, walking five in 2 1/3 innings as he fell to 1-6. He did strike out four but allowed five runs on four hits. Frank German came out of the bullpen for the first time this season, tossing three innings of one-run ball. He struck out four and did not walk a batter as his ERA stayed at an even 3.00 in June. A home run for Ronaldo Hernández and doubles for Triston Casas and Devlin Granberg provided most of the offense. The home run was the sixth of the year for Hernández and Casas also drew the team's only walk. 


Greenville joined Worcester in having walk-off victories, with the heroics in this one being provided by Tyreque Reed. Reed hit a game-winning single that scored Cameron Cannon who had just tied the game with a double. Cannon went 3 for 6 with two doubles, Nick Sogard went 4 for 5 with a double and a walk, and Brandon Howlett hit a three-run home run. Howlett did strike out four times and he now has a strikeout rate of 29 percent on the year. 

It was another game with a lot of walks and strikeouts for Jay Groome. He struck out eight and he now has 38 in his last 27 2/3 innings. He also walked four for the second straight game and allowed three runs on five hits. Alex Scherff had a blown save as he gave up two runs on five hits in his two innings. 


This one almost went to extra innings as well as the Shorebirds scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth but Salem was able to hold on for the win. The first career home run for Nick Yorke was the highlight of the day as the 19-year-old went 2 for 5 with the home run and the double. Ceddanne Rafaela and Jaxx Groshans each had two hits with Groshans adding a walk.

Salem took a combined no-hitter into the ninth, but Cody Scroggins gave up two runs on two hits before slamming the door for his fourth save. It was another tremendous start for Jeremy Wu-Yelland as he struck out four in four perfect innings. Aaron Perry also notched four strikeouts though he did it in just two innings, and Robert Kwiatkowski struck out two in two innings. 


Player of the Day: Some other players may have had more heroics, but Nick Sogard was on base five times as part of a 4-for-5 performance. Acquired from Tampa Bay along with Ronaldo Hernández for Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs, Sogard's four-hit day improved his line to .278/.360/.454, and he also has four stolen bases after swiping third base on Sunday. Sogard had only five extra-base hits in 63 games in 2019 but he already has 10 in 28 games this season. The 23-year-old has also not been charged with an error while rotating between second base, third base, and shortstop.