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May 2, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas and Downs go back-to-back; Binelas and Northcut go deep again


5/2 Cup of Coffee: Offensive fireworks in Worcester and Greenville were flanked by poor performances from Portland and Salem. Triston Casas (pictured), went deep for Worcester, while Jeter Downs also homered. Juan Daniel Encarnacion led a tremendous pitching effort for Salem, while Greenville got contributions from multiple players. 

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The WooSox went deep four times as they split the series with Buffalo. Jeter Downs and Triston Casas went back-to-back in the fifth inning as both players went 2 for 4 with a walk. Christin Stewart hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run shot in the third. Refsnyder went 2 for 3 with a walk and also added a double. 

Starter Darwinzon Hernandez walked three batters and allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings as his ERA rose to 7.90 on the season. The win went to Kyle Hart, who allowed one run over 2 2/3. Darin GilliesEduard BazardoJohn Schreiber, and Kaleb Ort all tossed scoreless innings to keep the Bisons at bay. 

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It was an inconsistent start for Chris Murphy, as he allowed only two hits but also walked four over four innings. He surrendered two runs while striking out four. After the Patriots got to Joan Martinez for three runs, Brendan Nail, AJ Politi, and Zach Bryant all kept them off the board. Kole Cottam had the only hit of the day for Portland, as the Somerset pitching staff faced just two batters over the minimum. 

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Juan Daniel Encarnacion led a two-hit shutout for Salem. Encarnacion struck out four over five innings, and Maceo Campbell followed with two hitless innings. Joey Stock got the save as he blanked the Hillcats for the final two innings. Salem had eight hits, but they all came from just three players. Eddinson Paulino went 3 for 5 with a double and a triple, Blaze Jordan went 2 for 4, and Eduardo Lopez went 3 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. 

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The Greenville bats came alive as the Drive doubled up on the Crawdads. Nicholas Northcut, Alex Binelas, and Gilberto Jimenez all went deep, while Nick Yorke led the way with three hits. Yorke went 3 for 5 with a double and a steal, Ceddanne Rafaela went 2 for 5 with a double and four RBI, and Binelas added a double in addition to his home run. Despite logging seven strikeouts while not walking a batter, the Crawdads still got to Brian Van Belle for four runs over 5 2/3 innings. It was still enough to get a win, while Ryan Fernandez picked up the save. 

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Player of the Day: In a bit of a coin flip, the award for Sunday goes to Triston Casas. Casas went 2 for 4 with a home run, double, and a walk. In a four-game stretch to begin the week, Casas went 0 for 13 with seven strikeouts. He has quickly broken out of that mini-slump, with six hits and two walks in the last three games. The 22-year-old has a .888 OPS for the WooSox, and he should contribute to the major league roster later this year.

Photo Credit: Triston Casas by Kelly O'Connor