June 24, 2018
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Couch helps Sea Dogs gain doubleheader sweep of Binghamton Mets

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs (30-15) used a complete game in the first tilt and a five-run fifth in the second to sweep the Binghamton Mets (24-20) 5-1 and 6-5 in a doubleheader Wednesday night at Hadlock Field.

The wins send the Sea Dogs to a 9-4 record against the Mets this season.

In the first game, the Sea Dogs scored right away off Luis Cessa (0-1) in his Double-A debut, and Keith Couch tossed the fifth complete-game of his career, leading the Sea Dogs to a 5-1 win in game one of doubleheader.

Couch improved his career record to 14-1 as a starter with Portland, scattering nine hits on one run over seven innings. Portland turned three double plays behind Couch, who walked one and struck out two.

Portland went to work in the first inning after the Mets took a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Kevin Plawecki. Stefan Welch clubbed a three-run homer into the U.S. Cellular Pavilion, giving Portland a 3-1 lead. The homer was the second for Welch and his first since April 29th vs. Reading.

In the second game, the Mets’ Derrik Gibson committed an error to lead off the top of the second, which gave way to four unearned runs in the inning, all scored with two down. Kyle Johnson delivered the first run with an RBI single, Matt Reynolds knocked home another with a single and Matt Clark capped off the inning with a two-run double which made it 5-0 B-Mets.

Portland began a comeback with a run in the third. Shannon Wilkerson led off the inning with a double and two batters later it was Gibson who knocked him home with a double off the third base bag, which cut the deficit to four.

Binghamton’s starter Matt Bowman silenced the Sea Dogs in the fourth, but could not escape the onslaught in the fifth. Wilkerson began the inning with a single and moved to third on a Mookie Betts double. With one out, Travis Shaw walked to load the bases and Stefan Welch followed with a two-run single to left to cut it to 5-3.

Bowman (3-2) retired Henry Ramos on a grounder to first, but walked Heiker Meneses to load the bases, which ended his outing. Chase Bradford was first out of the pen and faired no better against the bottom of the Portland order.

Mike Brenly greeted the reliever with an RBI single that plated Shaw and made it a one-run deficit at 5-4. Peter Hissey stepped in and took a first pitch fastball through the hole on the right side for a base hit that scored both Welch and Meneses and gave Portland the 6-5 lead.

Following Boscan’s outing on the hill, the Sea Dogs called upon Robby Scott. Scott (6-1) pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just two base runners, both on hits, in his outing and left in line for the win. Jose Valdez came on for the ninth and pitched it in scoreless fashion to wrap up the doubleheader sweep and his fourth save of the season.


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