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May 21, 2022 at 7:07 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter Ks 11, but Portland drops a doubleheader

5/21 Cup of Coffee: Worcester managed the only win among Sox affiliates on Friday, with Portland dropping two following Thursday night's rainout. Offense wasn't prevalent to close the week, but some strong pitching performances could be found despite the losing efforts, including a strong effort by top lefty prospect Brandon Walter.


Thomas Pannone took the bump for the WooSox and was effective, throwing five innings and scattering six hits with two earned runs. But it was the bullpen in this one that showed its mettle, following up his effort by completely shutting down the RailRiders. Taylor Cole, Andrew Politi, and Kaleb Ort combined for four innings of no-hit ball to slam the door.

Offensively, Ryan Fitzgerald's fourth-inning triple helped boost his OPS to a stout .986 on the season, while it was the bottom of the order that kept the bases flowing on this night. Conor Wong and Yolmer Sanchez were the only players with more than one hit in the contest, batting seventh and ninth, respectively. Sanchez had two RBI in the contest.


Following Thursday's washout, the Sea Dogs dropped the first of a pair of seven-inning contests to Harrisburg at Hadlock Field. Victor Santos did his best to go deep, but a sixth-inning stumble gave the Senators some momentum they would not relinquish. Santos finished with a line of four runs allowed on four hits and four strikeouts. Darrin Gillies was ineffective in relief, while Brendan Nail was effective in the final inning to stem the tide.

The bats were quiet in this and the subsequent game. Portland managed just six hits, including two each by Nick Sogard and Christian Koss. Pedro Castellanos hit a final-inning solo home run, his fifth of the year.


It took eight innings to settle the second game of the twin bill, but Harrisburg scored two in the extra frame to earn the mini sweep on Friday. The story of this contest for Portland was the brilliant performance of Brandon Walter, who returned to form after consecutive poor outings to fire an impressive 7-inning effort with four hits, one earned run, zero walks, and 11 strikeouts in an economical 79-pitch outing. Frank German pitched the extra frame and gave up two runs, one earned, to take the loss.

Offensively, Portland was again stymied, amassing just four hits in the effort. Christian Koss continued his strong effort from Game 1 with half of his team's hits, but Portland managed just one extra-base hit -- a Cole Kottam double. Koss also stole his fifth base of the season.


For the second consecutive night, Greenville gave up 9 runs and couldn't match the offensive output. Shane Drohan was pulled in the fifth after five earned runs on four hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts. Devon Roedahl was saddled with the loss, giving up two runs in 1.1 innings of work. No pitcher came away unscathed in this one, as Michael Gettys and Robert Kwiatkowski were also charged with earned runs.

Offensively, Greenville managed to keep pace for most of the contest, but the team struggled to capture extra bases, managing just one double from Gilberto Jimenez among their nine hits. Nick Yorke had two hits at the top of the lineup, while Ceddanne Rafaela and Alex Binelas kept the order churning in the middle of the lineup with two hits and a walk apiece. Binelas drove in two runs, as did Antoni Flores.


A high-scoring, back-and-forth affair came down to the final inning, but Lynchburg scratched across a run in the ninth inning, then slammed the door on Salem to come away with the win. Tyler Uberstine gave up the bulk of the runs with six runs allowed on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. The effort raised his ERA to 4.31 on the season. Blake Loubier pitched a solid 8th inning and had hoped to escape the 9th with a chance to earn the win, but it wasn't to be on this night. Alexander Montero pitched well in relief of Uberstine, allowing just one hit and one walk in 1.2 innings.

Blaze Jordan's three-hit, two-RBI night paced the offensive output from Salem, and Nathan Hickey's three-run blast in the third inning kept Salem in the contest early. Hickey had two hits and four RBIs on the night. 


Player of the Day: On a day when wins were hard to come by, Brandon Walter did everything he could to get his team in position for a W. Though it wasn't to be, Walter's impressive stat line can't be ignored. The No. 6 prospect in the SoxProspects rankings hadn't been his usual self until last night's impressive 11-strikeout performance in which he lowered his season ERA to 3.14 and his WHIP to a minuscule 0.88.  

Photo Credit: Brandon Walter by Kelly O'Connor