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August 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wong provides the hits in Worcester walkathon


8/27 Cup of Coffee:
The continuing standout play from Connor Wong (pictured) and a 13-walk night from Syracuse pitching gave Worcester the system's only win on the night. Wong rejected the free passes in lieu of a three-hit night that saw him drive in four. Greenville endured a long rain delay only to fall in the 10th inning, while Salem suffered a tough walk-off defeat. The DSL Red Sox Blue dropped their quarterfinal contest after winning the series opener on Thursday.

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The WooSox drew eight walks and sent 16 batters to the plate in an absurd 11-run seventh-inning rally. Triston Casas and Nick Sogard both walked twice in the inning, with Casas scoring two runs. A scorching-hot Connor Wong came up twice in the inning with the bases loaded and delivered two-run singles in both opportunities. Wong went 3 for 5 in his follow-up to Thursday's two-homer effort, and he is 13 for 33 (.394) during an eight-game hitting streak. Casas and Ronaldo Hernandez finished with three walks apiece in the win. Brian Keller allowed three runs on three hits in four innings before turning things over to Chase Shugart. Shugart spun two perfect frames, striking out a pair, as he earned the win.

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Portland Sea Dogs vs. Hartford Yard Goats (COL), postponed
Friday evening's contest at Hadlock was postponed due to heavy rain. It will be made up on Saturday as part of a doubleheader. 

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It was a long night at Fluor Field, both figuratively and literally,. After a 90-minute rain delay at the start, the Drive were held to six hits in the three-hour, 10-inning contest. Tyler Uberstine turned in a solid start, allowing one run on four hits in four innings, striking out six and walking two. Uberstine lowered his ERA to 2.43 in seven starts since his promotion from Salem, but he did struggle with his efficiency, needing 77 pitches to complete the four frames. After holding the Grasshoppers scoreless in the ninth, Jacob Webb surrendered a pair of runs (one earned) in the 10th to take the loss. Matthew Lugo was 2 for 5 at the plate, while Gilberto Jimenez stole a pair of bases as part of a 1-for-4 effort.

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An Eddinson Paulino two-run homer gave Salem a late 3-1 lead, but Columbia stormed back with three runs in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off victory. It was the 10th home run of the season for Paulino and his eighth since the start of June. Chase Meidroth ripped two doubles, boosting his slash line to .333/.460/.564 in 11 games with the Sox. Tyler Miller also notched a pair of hits. 

After a dominant run in the FCL, Luis Perales made his second Salem start. He struck out three batters in the first inning, sandwiching a walk and strikeout. Overall he allowed one run on two hits in three innings, striking out five and walking four. Luis Talavera went four scoreless frames as Salem moved in front. After quickly striking out three batters in the eighth and retiring the first batter of the ninth, Felix Cepeda saw his control abandon him as he walked three consecutive batters. All three batters went on to score as Osvaldo De La Rosa surrendered a single, intentional walk, and another single. 

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Team Blue will have to win a decisive game three on Saturday to move on to the Dominican Summer League semifinals, as the Dodgers used a four-run sixth-inning to even the series at 1-1. Albertson Asigen was a highlight at the plate, going 3 for 5 with two runs scored. Luis Cohen turned in a strong start, with the only hit he allowed in four innings a solo home run. Cohen struck out three without issuing a walk. Andres Ortuno was charged with the loss. 

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Player of the Day: It is generally not the intention to highlight the same player in this space daily, but Connor Wong is giving little choice. It was a third consecutive multi-hit game for the catcher, whose pair of two-run singles proved decisive. Since rejoining the WooSox following a quick mid-July jaunt to Boston, Wong is hitting .338/.372/.635 with six homers and four doubles in 17 games. 

Photo Credit: Connor Wong by Kelly O'Connor