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June 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello solid again, Sikes has big day for Salem


6/27 Cup of Coffee: Brayan Bello headlined the day in Worcester's win with seven strikeouts in his start. Hudson Potts stayed hot with another home run for the Sea Dogs, and Niko Kavadas did more damage at the plate for Greenville. Salem dropped a tough one despite three extra-base hits from Phillip Sikes (pictured). 

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Brayan Bello, the top pitching prospect at SoxProspects.com, made his seventh start of the year for Worcester and was solid again. The right-hander allowed two runs in 5 2/3 frames, striking out seven with three walks. He has a 1.60 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 46 innings in Worcester this year. The bullpen did not allow a hit, as Michael Feliz, Zack Kelly, and Kaleb Ort combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Ort grabbed his 11th save. At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 2 with a double and a walk, while Pedro Castellanos doubled, walked, and drove in a run. Grant Williams added a two-run single.

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A pair of solo shots represented the entire Sea Dogs' offense yesterday, as Hudson Potts went deep for the second straight night. Nick Sogard also went 2 for 3 with his third home run. Rio Gomez opened the game with a clean first inning before Jay Groome came on and struggled, allowing four runs (three earned) in 3 1/3 innings. He walked four but did strike out five. Jacob Wallace was good for two innings, not allowing a run or a hit while striking out three. 

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Yusniel Padron-Artiles worked around four hits and five walks, managing to not allow a run over four innings of work to start the game. He punched out six. Jordan DiValerio also pitched well, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings without allowing a walk and just one hit. Niko Kavadas did not homer yesterday but still managed to have another great day with the bat, going 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles to go along with a walk. That pushed his Greenville OPS over 2.000 in his three games with the Drive. Nick Northcut went 2 for 5 with a double, while Tyler McDonough and Alex Erro each went 2 for 4 with two singles. McDonough also swiped his 14th base. 

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Phillip Sikes led the way on offense for the Sox, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI. Brainer Bonaci singled and doubled in five trips to the plate out of the leadoff spot, and Yorberto Mejicano went 2 for 4 and scored twice. Angel Bastardo delivered a solid outing, going four innings and allowing two runs. He struck out seven and walked just two. Maceo Campbell tossed a scoreless frame out of the bullpen, while Adenys Bautista did not allow a run in 1 1/3 innings of work. Luis Guerrero also pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. 

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Player of the Day: Phillip Sikes posted eight or more total bases in a game for the second time this season. The 23-year-old outfielder, drafted in the 18th round in 2021, is putting together a very good campaign for Salem after a tremendous first year of professional ball in 2021 for the FCL Sox. His batting average of .248 does not tell the full story, as his 26 walks and 22 extra-base hits have led to a .392 OBP and a .496 SLG. 


Photo Credit: Philip Sikes by Kelly O'Connor