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April 23, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan catches fire to lead Greenville rout


4/23 Cup of Coffee: An offensive explosion in Greenville was the highlight on Saturday, as Blaze Jordan (pictured) led an attack that featured 15 hits and 26 total bases. Jordan was joined by Nathan Hickey and Max Ferguson in the drubbing of Greensboro. Wyatt Olds and a stingy bullpen sent the Sea Dogs home as winners, while Salem fell despite the efforts of Roman Anthony

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Worcester Red Sox @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), postponed
Saturday evening's contest was preemptively called due to rain in the forecast. The two will try for a series-closing doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. 

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The story so far on Wyatt Olds has been that he has been hard to hit but his control has wavered at times. That was on display Saturday afternoon: Olds did not allow a hit over 4 1/3 innings, but he needed 81 pitches to record those 13 outs. He walked four batters (two of whom came around to score) while striking out four batters. Through three starts, he has allowed six runs in 7 1/3 innings, giving up just two hits while walking 13 batters. Jacob Webb allowed a pair of inherited runners to score (both charged to Olds), but did not give up a score of his own in 1 2/3 frames. Theo Denlinger forged two scoreless innings to get credit for the win. He gave up one hit and struck out a pair. Ryan Miller tossed a scoreless ninth for the save. 

The Sea Dogs' two top prospects led the offensive output. Nick Yorke went 2 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Ceddanne Rafaela got the start at shortstop, going 2 for 4 with a double.

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A 15-hit attack for Greenville included eight doubles and a home run, powering the Drive's first double-digit scoring output of the season. Blaze Jordan was all but unstoppable, going 4 for 5 with a home run, a double, two runs scored, and four RBI. Nathan Hickey and Max Ferguson had two doubles apiece, with Hickey adding a single and Ferguson drawing a walk. Chase Meidroth returned to the lineup after missing three games and went 1 for 4 with a pair of walks. Marcelo Mayer contributed a double, walk, and two runs scored to the cause. Juan Daniel Encarnacion got the start, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits in four innings. Jordan DiValerio threw a pair of scoreless innings to get credit for the win, and Christopher Troye added a scoreless ninth to close out the victory.

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Salem jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but it was all Lynchburg from then on. Starting pitcher Noah Dean left little work to his defense, with only two of the 15 batters he faced putting the ball in play. He struck out seven, walked five, and surrendered a home run, allowing three runs on two hits in 2 2/3 in all. Ryan Fernandez continued his rehab, giving up one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless frames, striking out four without issuing a walk. Roman Anthony had a big night out of the leadoff spot, going 2 for 3 with two walks. Juan Chacon had a triple, walk, and stolen base, while Ronald Rosario delivered a two-run double in the second inning.

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Player of the Day: Through his first 11 games of the season, Blaze Jordan had sputtered to a .182/.250/.273 line. With Saturday evening's four-hit, eight-total base performance, his season line quickly ballooned to .245/.302/.408. A second-inning home run was Jordan's first of the season. Those who followed the system's 18th-ranked prospect know not to overreact to a slow start -- he had just a .480 OPS in April 2022 and he didn't hit his second home run until May 11. 

Photo Credit: Blaze Jordan by Kelly O'Connor