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May 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec hits 515-foot homer; Coffey strikes out 11

5/20 Cup of Coffee:
Polar Park saw a thrilling game, with Bobby Dalbec putting on a show. Brandon Walter's night was a mixed bag, but he did strike out nine. Nathan Hickey and Rio Gomez led Portland to an impressive win, while Isaac Coffey was dominant for Greenville. A home run from Roman Anthony was the highlight in Salem, though the team fell short. 

Bobby Dalbec was the hero, ripping a two-run single in the 10th to walk it off for the WooSox. That was not the most impressive hit of the day for Dalbec, who slugged a home run that went an estimated 515 feet. He went 4 for 5 with a walk and a stolen base while playing right field. The WooSox had six other players have multi-hit games, with Niko Goodrum and Daniel Palka each adding home runs. David Hamilton went 2 for 6 with two more steals, Narciso Crook went 2 for 5 with two doubles, and Ryan Fitzgerald went 2 for 5 with a double. 

A week after setting a season high with eight strikeouts, Brandon Walter topped it on Friday with nine strikeouts. While he is missing more bats, he is struggling to find consistency. He allowed three runs and walked four over his five innings. The IronPigs took the lead with three runs off Jake Faria, but Cam Booser and Oddanier Mosqueda kept them off the board to allow the WooSox to tie it in the ninth. Kaleb Ort earned the win after allowing just the zombie runner to score in the 10th. 


Nathan Hickey led a 10-hit attack in a win to even up the series. Hickey went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk, and his OPS now sits just shy of 1.000. Corey Rosier went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, and Niko Kavadas went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. Sterling Sharp was activated off the injured list and allowed one run over three innings. Rio Gomez was dominant in a bulk role, throwing four perfect innings while striking out four. Ryan Fernandez finished off the last two innings while allowing one run. 


A dominant start from Isaac Coffey helped Greenville blank Bowling Green. Coffey struck out 11 and walked only one over six innings. Jordan DiValerio followed with four strikeouts over two innings, and Robert Kwiatkowski struck out two in a scoreless ninth. The staff struck out 17 in one of the system's best pitching performances this season. A solo home run from Marcelo Mayer, his fifth, led the offense. Mayer finished 1 for 4, and Max Ferguson went 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBI. 


Roman Anthony hit his first home run of the year, but Salem fell to Lynchburg. Anthony went 2 for 4, and the home run was his first extra-base hit since May 7. Luis Ravelo went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, and Juan Montero went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored. The Hillcats got to Jedixson Paez for four runs in 3 2/3 innings as his ERA rose to 6.75. Gabriel Jackson kept the game close with 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two. 


Co-Players of the Day: There were two elite individual performances on Friday night that should both be recognized. Bobby Dalbec gave Worcester's fans their money's worth, hitting a mammoth home run and then later a walk-off single. After a brief stint with Boston about a week ago, Dalbec has returned to Triple-A on a mission. He is 9 for 18 with two home runs and two steals while playing third base, first base, and right field. There's been some trade speculation about Dalbec recently, and he has been doing his part to prove he deserves another chance in the majors. 

Isaac Coffey struck out 11 and allowed six baserunners over six innings in a shutout victory. A 10th-round pick in the 2022 draft, the Red Sox signed Coffey to an underslot bonus out of Oral Roberts. It's the second time this season that Coffey has struck out 11, and on the year, he has 50 strikeouts to just seven walks in 37 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old has been prone to the long ball, allowing a system-leading 10 home runs. Even with that, his ERA dropped to 3.35 with his tremendous start on Friday. 

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec by Kelly O'Connor