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May 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello improves to 3-0; Strasburg stifles Salem


5/30 Cup of Coffee: Brayan Bello received plenty of run support, with Christin Stewart (pictured), Ronaldo Hernández, and Rob Refsnyder all launching home runs. Jay Groome served up four home runs in just two innings, Brian Van Belle and Gilberto Jimenez led the way for Greenville, and Salem could not find any offense against a rehabbing Stephen Strasburg. 

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He struggled with his control a bit, but Brayan Bello pitched well enough to improve to 3-0 with the WooSox. Bello walked four and struck out six over five innings of two-run ball. He finishes May with a tidy 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. Michael FelizDurbin Feltman, and Frank German combined to strike out eight and allow just three hits over the final four innings. 

All the production the pitching staff needed came from two players, with Christin Stewart going 4 for 5 with a home run, and Ronaldo Hernández going 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBI. It was a massive week for Hernández who saw his OPS climb 260 points to .627. Rob Refsnyder also homered, Connor Wong went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Jarren Duran tripled but also struck out five times. 

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Jay Groome was bit by the long ball on Sunday, as he served up four home runs in only two innings. Groome gave up eight runs, which is the most he has allowed in a start since April of 2017. Jake Thompson kept the Patriots off the board with three shutout innings, striking out five. Thompson now has three straight scoreless appearances. Home runs from Nick Sogard and Pedro Castellanos got things off to a hot start in the first inning, but Portland could only score one run the rest of the way. Christian Koss went 2 for 3 with an RBI, and David Hamilton went 1 for 5 with a triple. 

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The Drive pitching staff was dominant, allowing just two unearned runs in a win over the BlueClaws. Brendan Cellucci allowed one of the unearned runs over two innings, striking out four. The win went to Brian Van Belle, who tossed five innings and struck out two. Ryan Zeferjahn closed things out with two spotless innings, striking out four. The star offensively was Gilberto Jimenez, who went 3 for 5 with a three-run double. Alex Erro went 2 for 2 with two walks, and Tyler McDonough went 1 for 4 with a walk. 

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Once again squaring off against Stephen Strasburg, the Red Sox came up short. Strasburg did not allow a hit over five innings, striking out six. Gabriel Jackson got the start and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings. Blake Loubier was the only pitcher to keep the Nationals off the board with a scoreless eighth inning. The Salem offense woke up once Strasburg left the game, with Tyler Miller launching a two-run home run, and Phillip Sikes going 2 for 3 with a walk.

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Player of the Day: After spending the last seven years in the Detroit Tigers system, Christin Stewart had his best game as a member of the WooSox. The 28-year-old is now tied for second on the team with seven home runs, and he also added six stolen bases. He has been racking up too many strikeouts with a strikeout percentage of about 33 percent, and he will need to cut that down to be considered a depth option at the major league level. 

Photo Credit: Christin Stewart by Kelly O'Connor