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July 1, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Reed delivers game-winning homer; Walter keeps rolling


7/1 Cup of Coffee:
It was a soggy close to the month of June, as Portland was rained out in Manchester while Worcester was only able to get in two innings of its game at Polar Park before getting suspended. It was a more successful evening farther south, as both Greenville and Salem picked up victories. A Tyreque Reed solo shot broke an eighth-inning tie in Greenville, while four homers supported a strong effort by Brandon Walter (pictured) in Salem.

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After a delayed start, the rain made its way back into Worcester forcing the game to be suspended after two innings. Stephen Gonsalves struck out five in two shutout frames. Jarren Duran was involved in both of the WooSox runs. He walked and came around to score on a Chris Herrmann single in the first, then hit into a fielder's choice that turned into a run-scoring error in the second. Play will resume on Thursday at 4:30, followed by the regularly scheduled contest. 

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Portland Sea Dogs @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), postponed
It will be another day's wait for the next episode of the Brayan Bello show, as his scheduled Wednesday evening start was washed out. The two teams will try for a doubleheader on Thursday. 

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The Drive snapped a four-game losing streak to even their record at 25-25 on the season. Tyreque Reed was the hero, blasting a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth inning. It was the third straight game that Reed has gone deep, giving him 11 round-trippers on the season. Cameron Cannon had a strong night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double, run scored, and hit batsman. Kole Cottam drove in a pair as part of his two-hit evening. Chase Shugart pitched around a pair of solo homers, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings. Alex Scherff struck out the side to record the save, and he now has 36 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.

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Salem got off to a 9-2 lead, then had to hold on as Fredericksburg mounted a rally. Joe Davis hit the first of four Salem homers with his eighth of the season, a two-run first-inning blast. Nicholas Northcut and Dean Miller both went deep as part of two-hit nights, and Stephen Scott came off the bench to deliver a solo homer. Brandon Walter was excellent again in a starting role. While a first-inning run broke his scoreless streak at 13 innings across six appearances, Walter was untouchable from there forward. He allowed just that one run on three hits in four innings, walking one and striking out six. Robert Kwiatkowski was credited with the win despite giving up five runs in three innings, and Cody Scroggins gave up one earned run in his two frames to earn the save. Salem has now beaten the Nationals 10 times in 14 contests. 

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Player of the Day: Brandon Walter entered the contest with an excellent shot at earning Pitcher of the Month honors, and he did little to aid the case against him. The lone run he surrendered was one of just two allowed all month in 22 innings. He faced 85 batters on the month, striking out 33 and walking just five on his way to a 0.82 ERA. After being used mostly in a traditional bullpen role, Walter has gotten the start in his last two appearances, striking out 15 in eight innings.

Photo Credit: Brandon Walter by Bryan Green