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April 13, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello strikes out 10, Casas hits 477-foot home run


4/13 Cup of Coffee:
After the scheduled day off for the affiliates on Monday, the players came back with some exciting performances on Tuesday. Brayan Bello (pictured), Yusniel Padron-Artiles, and Thomas Pannone all had terrific starts that led to victories. Triston Casas hit a ball out of Polar Park, David Hamilton showed off his elite speed and Gilberto Jimenez flashed his power and speed. In Salem, a grand slam from Nathan Hickey broke the game open in extra innings. 

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A 477-foot home run from Triston Casas was one of many highlights during Worcester's home opener. Casas also added two walks in addition to the home run that left Polar Park. Yolmer S├ínchez provided some pop as well as he went 3 for 3 with a home run, double, walk, and a steal. The third WooSox home run came from Ryan Fitzgerald in his first game since April 7. The home run was Fitzgerald's fourth in four games. Rob Refsnyder went 2 for 4 with a double as he raised his average to .368 over his first 28 plate appearances. 

Rhode Island native Thomas Pannone was dominant on the mound, firing five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Eduard Bazardo gave up two unearned runs in his first appearance of the season, and Tyler DanishJohn Schreiber, and Kaleb Ort each threw a scoreless inning to close things out. 

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The first start of the season for Brayan Bello was a resounding success as the 22-year-old shut down Harrisburg. Bello struck out 10 over five shutout innings while walking one and allowing four hits. Zach Bryant rebounded nicely from his last outing, when he walked all four batters he faced, by retiring the side in order. Jacob Wallace followed with another scoreless inning, and Frank German struck out one in a scoreless ninth. 

The David Hamilton show continued as he went 2 for 4 with a walk and three stolen bases. Hamilton now has seven steals in four games to go along with a 1.682 OPS. Tyler Dearden went 3 for 5 with a triple, Christian Koss went 2 for 4 with two RBI, and Nick Sogard went 2 for 4 with a double. 

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Yusniel Padron-Artiles tried to match Bello pitch-for-pitch, as Padron-Artiles twirled six shutout innings. He struck out eight without walking a batter and allowed only three hits. After struggling in Greenville last season, the 24-year-old has started the 2022 season on a high note. Casey Cobb preserved the shutout with two stress-free innings, and Cody Scroggins finished it off with a scoreless ninth. 

Alex Binelas and Gilberto Jimenez led the offensive outburst as they each homered. It was the first home run for Jimenez, who also singled and stole a base. Ceddanne Rafaela went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Nick Yorke went 1 for 5 with an RBI double. The only other extra-base hits came from Tyler Esplin, who went 2 for 5 with two doubles.


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Salem improved to 4-0 as a result of a grand slam from Nathan Hickey in the top of the 11th. It was the only hit of the game for Hickey, though he also added three walks. Marcelo Mayer once again led the team in hits, going 3 for 6 with a double as his average moved down a tick to .526. Niko Kavadas came about a foot away from a two-home run game, launching a solo shot in the fifth and then hitting the top of the wall in center for a double later in the game. 

Juan Daniel Encarnacion got the start for Salem, allowing two runs on three hits over four innings. Joey Stock stuck out four over two hitless innings, and Jacob Webb struck out five over his two frames. Jhonny Felix struck out two in the bottom of the 11th to seal the victory. 

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Player of the Day: After Brandon Walter struck out seven over five shutout innings on Sunday, Brayan Bello had to show fans why he is the top pitching prospect in the system. Bello struck out 10 over five dominant innings, walking one and allowing four hits. He showed electric stuff, getting multiple swings and misses with his high-90s fastball, breaking ball, and impressive changeup. In all, he forced 19 swinging strikes on 73 pitches. With 16 Double-A starts now under his belt, Bello will be on a promotion watch with a few more spectacular starts. 

Photo Credit: Brayan Bello by Kelly O'Connor