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May 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart fires six no-hit innings, Northcut homers again


5/8 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story for Sox affiliates last night, as Kyle Hart (pictured) and Chris Murphy each delivered a gem. Greenville also pieced together a dominant night on the mound to win their third straight game. Nick Northcut added to his league-leading home run total, while Hudson Potts and Eduardo Vaughan stayed hot at the plate. 

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A couple days after Brayan Bello's no-hitter, Kyle Hart tossed six no-hit innings of his own. The left-hander struck out eight in the best outing of his season. The bullpen struggled however, as Darin Gillies and Durbin Feltman gave up a combined five runs in their two innings of work. At the plate, Worcester scored three runs in the third but was silenced outside of that. Jonathan Arauz doubled and scored a run, while Triston Casas reached twice with a single and a walk. 

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Portland rallied late to tie the game at four with a three-run bottom of the seventh, but a pair of runs in the eighth for Reading sealed it. Hudson Potts recorded multiple hits for the second time in his past three games, going 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and two knocked in. Nick Sogard had a nice game as well with a double, a walk, and a run scored. David Hamilton walked and stole his 15th bag. Chris Murphy was terrific on the bump, punching out 10 hitters in six innings. He gave up three runs, but none were earned. The 10 strikeouts were a season high for Murphy, as the lefty lowered his ERA to 2.10. Joan Martinez gave up a run in his only inning, while Andrew Politi struck out two and gave up two runs in two innings. 

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Nick Northcut got the Drive going right away with yet another home run, this time a grand slam in the first inning. Northcut is leading the league with 12 home runs, four more than the next closest. He also leads the South Atlantic League in RBI. Stephen Scott reached four times with a double and three walks, while Tyler McDonough roped an RBI triple, walked, and scored. Greenville pieced together a great night on the mound, utilizing six pitchers. Chih-Jung Liu, Ryan Zeferjahn, and Michael Gettys started off the game with two shutout innings each, with Liu striking out four and Zeferjahn and Gettys adding two punchouts apiece. Cody Scroggins closed in out with a scoreless ninth. 

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Eduardo Vaughan led the Salem offense with three hits in the losing effort. It was the second straight three-hit game for Vaughan and his third straight multi-hit game. Yorberto Mejicano belted a two-run shot and took a walk in four trips to the plate. Niko Kavadas, Brainer Bonaci, and Miguel Ugueto each had a single and a double as well. Gabriel Jackson was solid, allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings, but he struck out six and walked just one. 

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Player of the Day: Kyle Hart hadn't gone more than 4 1/3 in any outing this season until last night's six frames. He also hadn't struck out more than five in any outing this year but fanned eight last night. Hart had a rough April mainly because of one outlier start, but he has given up just one run in 8 2/3 innings so far in May. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Hart by Kelly O'Connor