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August 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shugart, Koss lead Drive to win


8/27 Cup of Coffee: The Drive saw a complete performance, with Chase Shugart (pictured) leading the way on the mound. Christian Koss and Elih Marrero also had big games for Greenville. Nick Yorke stayed hot as well. Worcester also saw a big offensive night, led by Yairo Munoz and Johan Mieses. Marcelo Mayer also reached three times for the FCL Sox.

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Johan Mieses had a big game at the plate, going 2 for 5 with a pair of long balls, giving him six with Worcester and 17 combined in 2021. He drove in four runs. Yairo Munoz also had a big game, going 3 for 5 with his 16th double and an RBI. Joey Meneses added two hits including a double and two RBI. Jeter Downs also reached twice with a double and a walk. Daniel Gossett had a shaky outing, allowing four runs (two earned) over three innings with three walks and two strikeouts. The bullpen was dominant though, as John Schreiber tossed three scoreless innings following Gossett. Durbin Feltman, Brandon Brennan, and Kaleb Ort each added a shutout inning, with Brennan punching out two. 

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The Sea Dogs had just four hits in this one, with Kole Cottam picking up the lone extra-base hit, a double. Danny Santana went 1 for 3 with an RBI single in this rehab game. Jeisson Rosario managed to have a solid game without a hit, going 0 for 1 with three walks. Victor Santos was terrific on the mound, allowing one run across five innings with seven strikeouts and just one free pass. Ryan Brasier struck out one batter in a clean sixth inning, and Tyler Olson struck out three without a walk in two innings, allowing one run. 

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Chase Shugart set the tone in this one with a brilliant first five innings, allowing just one run with seven strikeouts and no walks. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was in attendance, noting that Shugart's fastball got as high as 97 MPH. He generated 10 swinging strikes. Jose Espada was also great in relief, striking out six without a walk in three innings. Yorvin Pantoja closed it out with a scoreless ninth. 

Christian Koss led the offense, going 2 for 5 with his 15th double and 10th home run to go along with three RBI. Elih Marrero also had a big night, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Dominic D'Alessandro, Brandon Howlett, and Nick Yorke each had two hits as well, with Howlett roping his 16th double of the season. 

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Bradley Blalock started and labored through four innings, allowing six hits, two walks, and three earned runs with two strikeouts. Jordan DiValerio followed with a terrific relief outing, striking out five without a walk over three innings, allowing just one run. At the plate, Ceddanne Rafaela, Nick Decker, and Niko Kavadas each roped doubles, with Kavadas and Decker also drawing walks. 

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Marcelo Mayer had yet another good day at the plate for the Sox, going 1 for 2 with a single, a pair of walks, and a stolen base. The fourth overall pick is 7 for 27 with six walks and four extra-base hits since his 1-for-9 start to his professional career. Phillip Sikes picked up two hits in four trips and Danny Diaz belted a two-run shot, his second of the year. Angel Bastardo was roughed up a little bit in this one, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in 3 2/3 frames. Gabriel Jackson struggled as well, allowing four runs in two frames, but Maceo Campbell was the bright spot on the mound, tossing a pair of hitless innings. 

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It was a rough offensive day, as the Sox picked up just three hits. Helison Mota led the way by getting on base three times, including a single, double, walk, and two stolen bases. Allan Castro also doubled and drew a walk. Francis Hernandez was tremendous again, tossing five shutout innings with just one hit allowed, no walks, and five strikeouts. The 19-year old right-hander now has a 1.29 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 29 1/3 innings this year. Jesus Rosillo added a shoutout frame of his own. 

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Juan Chacon, Alex Zapete, and Rivaldo Avila each picked up two singles and a double to lead the nine-run attack. Avila's double knocked in three runs, and Zapete's day brought his batting average up to .344 on the year. Johnfrank Salazar also doubled to drive in a run. Jean Carlos Reyes was solid in this start, going the first four innings and surrendering just one run with two strikeouts. Yonfi Rodriguez worked around three walks in two innings to pick up the win, allowing no runs in the final two frames. 

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Player of the Day: Christian Koss extended his hitting streak to 11 in a big way with two extra-base hits. The 23-year old is hitting .302 (13 for 43) over the streak with four doubles, a triple, and a home run. Overall, he his hitting .272/.330/.435 in 2021 with 30 extra-base hits in 83 games. 

Photo Credit: Chase Shugart by Kelly O'Connor

 
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