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September 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sogard homers twice; Salem fails to make playoffs


9/20 Cup of Coffee:
A heartbreaking loss for Salem ended the team's playoff hopes, while the season also came to an end for Portland and Greenville. The only affiliates to play beyond Sunday will be Worcester and the two DSL squads. Jarren Duran and Jonathan Araúz both continued to rehab with the WooSox, Hudson Potts homered for Portland, and Nick Sogard (pictured) launched two home runs for Greenville. Nick Yorke ended the season with another impressive on-base streak going, as he all but wrapped up the Offensive Player of the Year award. 

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Doubles from Jarren Duran and Franchy Cordero were not enough, as the Mets got to Daniel Gossett for seven runs. Cordero also walked three times, and now has an impressive ratio of 13 walks to 10 strikeouts in September. In addition to Duran, Jonathan Araúz also continued his rehab in Worcester, going 1 for 3. Durbin Feltman had a scoreless inning of relief, but the Mets got to Eduard Bazardo for two runs in 2/3 of an inning. 

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Despite the pitching staff racking up 14 strikeouts, the Sea Dogs fell in the season finale. A home run from Hudson Potts and an RBI single from Triston Casas accounted for the two Portland runs. It was the 11th home run for Potts, and he finished September with a line of .250/.286/.500. Pedro Castellanos made a rare appearance in center field, and went 2 for 4 with a triple. The single was the only hit for Casas as he finished the month with an OPS of 1.397. Six pitchers threw in this one, with Victor Santos allowing one run over the first two innings. AJ Politi, Enmanuel De Jesus, and Dominic LoBrutto combined to strikeout six and threw a scoreless inning apiece. 

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Salem entered the day needing a win or a Down East loss to make the playoffs, but neither game went their way. Up 6-1 at the start of the sixth, Salem was done in by poor defense. Antoni Flores committed two errors that led to six unearned runs scoring against Robert Kwiatkowski. Salem came back to tie the game, but Delmarva scored two runs in the top of the ninth off of Devon Roedahl. Salem got the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Brainer Bonaci flied out to end it. 

Starter Bradley Blalock was excellent, allowing just one run and striking out four over five innings. The offense was led by Nicholas Northcut, who went 3 for 5. Tyler McDonough and Matthew Lugo each went 1 for 4 with a double, and Ceddanne Rafaela went 2 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base. 

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The first career multi-homer game for Nick Sogard propelled the Drive on Sunday. Sogard went 2 for 4 with two home runs and a sacrifice fly as he drove in all four of Greenville's runs. Nick Yorke went 1 for 4, and ended the season reaching base in 67 of his last 69 games, including all 21 with Greenville. Stephen Scott ended his strong season a high note, going 2 for 4. Three shutout innings for Jose Espada set the tone for the pitching staff. The win went to Brendan Cellucci who pitched a scoreless inning, and Brendan Nail got his third save with a scoreless ninth. 

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Player of the Day: Nick Sogard's two home runs made him the clear winner. The 24-year-old finished the year with a .279/.349/.500 in 62 games for Greenville, and he was fifth on the team in home runs. The switch-hitting infielder showed strong contact skills this year, and projects as a solid organizational player. 

Photo Credit: Nick Sogard by Kelly O'Connor