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September 8, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duffy rebounds with strong start in Salem

9/8 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tough night on the farm, as all three affiliates who completed their contests fell, two in walk-off fashion. Both Worcester and Greenville had rallied from behind in the late innings just to suffer losses in the bottom of the ninth. Salem did not lead at any point in its defeat, but it did feature a strong start by the system's highest-selected pitcher of the July draft, Matt Duffy (pictured). Portland's game was suspended when storms rolled through Reading with the Sea Dogs trailing headed into the third. 


Worcester fell in the bottom of the ninth of Thursday's back-and-forth contest. All of the WooSox scoring came via the long ball. Bobby Dalbec and Narciso Crook both hit solo homers, and Niko Kavadas delivered a two-run blast in the eighth to give his team a short-lived 4-3 advantage. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Dalbec, but just his second since August 13. He now is just one off of the league lead in home runs. Christian Koss reached base three times, going 2 for 2 with a hit batsman. Kyle Barraclough allowed three runs on three hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five but walking six. Luis Guerrero was a highlight in his Triple-A debut, striking out two of the three batters he faced in a scoreless eighth. Ryan Fernandez took the loss, surrendering two runs (one earned) in 2/3 of an inning. 

The loss drops Worcester to three games behind Durham with nine games to go in the season.


Portland was in a 2-0 deficit through two innings when the storms came through, necessitating a suspension. Isaac Coffey was making his return to the Portland rotation, surrendering a two-run first-inning homer to start off the scoring. The teams will try again on Friday afternoon before the regularly scheduled contest. 


It was a tough loss for the Drive, as they stormed back for four runs in the ninth to knot the score at 5-5 just for Aberdeen to break the tie in the bottom of the inning. Limited to just three hits through eight, the Drive matched that total in the ninth, including two two-run singles from Nick Decker and Kristian Campbell. Tyler Miller doubled for Greenville's only extra-base hit. He also walked, stole a base, and scored a run. Catcher Ronald Rosario walked in each of his four plate appearances.

Dalton Rogers allowed two runs on six hits in four innings, but he struggled with his efficiency, needing 79 pitches to complete the four frames. Aaron Perry struck out three of the six batters he faced in 1 2/3 innings, but he surrendered a walk-off home run to highly-regarded prospect Samuel Basallo.


Starter Matt Duffy was the highlight on an otherwise tough night at Carillion Clinic Field. The fourth-round pick needed just 18 pitches to get through six batters he faced, striking out three. The only baserunner came on a hit batter and was quickly erased on a double play. Caleb Ramsay followed with three scoreless frames, but the Mudcats reached Luis Talavera for three runs in two innings to hand him the loss. Yorberto Mejicano had half of Salem's hits, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. Marvin Alcantara extended his hitting streak to six games with a single, and Johnfrank Salazar worked a pair of walks.


Player of the Day: There was a dearth of standout performances in the organization on Thursday, but the strong effort by Matt Duffy deserves mention. After giving up five runs in 1 1/3 in his Salem debut last week, Duffy bounced back by facing the minimum over two innings. He struck out three of the six batters he saw and quickly eliminated the only baserunner by inducing a double play on the next batter. The Toronto native is currently ranked 58th in the system. 

Photo Credit: Matt Duffy from Canisius Baseball