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June 14, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Anthony makes Greenville debut; Hickey leads Portland to win


6/14 Cup of Coffee:
 The Sea Dogs used three home runs from Nathan Hickey (pictured), Niko Kavadas, and Chase Meidroth to power their way to an easy win. Jake Faria, Sterling Sharp, and Juan Daniel Encarnacion also had great starts on the mound. Roman Anthony had a nice debut in Greenville at the plate and Yoeilin Cespedes had a monster game for the DSL Red Sox Blue team. 

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Norfolk Tides (BAL) 3, Worcester Red Sox 0
The Sox didn't do much offensively in this one with just three at-bats with runners in scoring position all night, going 0 for 3. Bobby Dalbec roped his eighth double of the season and Ronaldo Hernandez reached twice by going 1 for 3 with a walk. Veteran right-hander Jake Faria was tremendous on the mound, going six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He punched out six and did not issue a free pass. Cam Booser also tossed a hitless inning with two strikeouts and no walks. 

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Portland Sea Dogs 9, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (NYM) 1
Nathan Hickey was the offensive star, going 3 for 4 with his fifth home run of the year and three runs scored. Niko Kavadas and Chase Meidroth each belted two-run shots as well. Marcelo Mayer added a single and a sacrifice fly, and Ceddanne Rafaela doubled for the 14th time, walked, and scored twice. Sterling Sharp threw six great innings in his start, surrendering just one run on a solo home run. The right-hander struck out six and walked a pair. His ERA is down to 3.63 in nine starts. Jacob Webb, Christopher Troye, and Ryan Miller followed him with nearly identical outings. All three hurlers tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and no walks. 

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Greensboro Grasshoppers (PIT) 12, Greenville Drive 2
Roman Anthony made his Greenville debut and knocked a double in his first at-bat as the youngest player in the South Atlantic League. The center fielder also drew a walk. Blaze Jordan had a great night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a walk, and an RBI. Ronald Rosario also reached three times with two singles and a walk. Juan Daniel Encarnacion turned in a very good outing, tossing five innings and allowing just one unearned run. He struck out five and walked three, giving up only three hits. The bullpen was roughed up for Greenville, but Nate Tellier tossed a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts. 

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Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) 10, Salem Red Sox 2
Noah Dean was hit around to the tune of five earned runs over just 2 1/3 frames. He struggled with control, walking four. Luis Talavera and Jhonny Felix each gave up multiple runs as well before Railin Perez tossed two great innings, allowing just one hit and no runs with three strikeouts. Lyonell James provided the entire offense on one swing with a two-run home run, his second of the season. Ahbram Liendo also doubled and scored a run. 

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FCL Pirates 8, FCL Red Sox 7
Natanael Yuten had a big day at the plate out of the leadoff spot, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and three runs driven in. Angel Pierre went 2 for 4 with a run, Johnfrank Salazar had a couple hits including a double, and Deundre Jones had a perfect day by going 2 for 2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored. Wandy Abreu started and surrendered five runs (four earned) over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three. Francis Hernandez had a solid relief appearance, allowing a run over two innings with two strikeouts. Connor Butler also tossed a clean inning with a pair of strikeouts and no walks. 

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Yoeilin Cespedes led his team's huge offensive showing with a 5-for-6 day at the plate. The shortstop doubled, drove in a pair, and scored three times. Starlyn Nunez scored three runs of his own as part of his three-hit day, while Cristofher Paniagua reached base five times with three singles and a couple walks. Yoiber Ruiz, Frederik Jimenez, Moises Semerite, and Jesus Prado each collected a pair of singles as well. Obed Balderas started and was very good over 2 1/3 frames, allowing just one hit and no runs. He struck out four and walked two. Alisson Del Orbe had a good outing as well with five strikeouts over two innings without allowing an earned run. Cesar Ruiz picked up the save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. 

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Gerardo Rodriguez had what ended up being the deciding base hit in the fourth inning with an RBI single to break the tie. The 17-year-old also drew a walk, raising his OPS to 1.217 on the young season. Yohander Linarez also went 2 for 4 and scored a run, while Yosander Asencio went 1 for 3 with his fifth double of the season, a walk, and an RBI. On the mound, Wuilliams Rodriguez picked up the win by going the first five innings with just one run allowed. The 17-year-old right-hander gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out three. Brahian Rijo and Andres Jimenez were both outstanding in relief, each tossing two scoreless frames with three strikeouts. 
 
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Player of the Day: Nathan Hickey's big night earns him the honor. The left-handed hitting catcher raised his season OPS to .953 between Greenville and Portland. After posting a .990 OPS in 18 games with Greenville, he has adjusted to Double-A very well, putting up a .916 OPS so far in 19 games. He tied his season-high in total bases with six. 

Photo Credit: Nathan Hickey by Kelly O'Connor