SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets snapped their four-game losing streak on Friday night, rallying back multiple times to down the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A Philadelphia Phillies) by a 10-9 final in 11 innings on a sunny night in the Salt City. The game took nearly four hours to play and featured 21 combined hits, four errors, 19 runs, and 13 pitchers between the two teams.
Down by five runs entering the bottom of the seventh, the Mets hopes for a comeback were flickering away with just nine outs remaining. However, Syracuse (15-15) began its rally back in that fateful bottom of the seventh inning as the Mets scored four runs to close the deficit to one, 7-6. The Mets sent nine men to the plate in the frame, aided by four walks and a hit batter. The big blows of the inning were a two-run triple for Ronny Mauricio and a two-run home run from Danny Mendick. It was the third big fly of the season for Mendick, and the triple for Mauricio just added on to what has proven to be a superb week at the plate. The 22-year-old has gone 8-for-13 at the plate with two doubles, a triple, two stolen bases, three RBIs, and three runs scored.
After the Syracuse bullpen kept the game tied into the bottom of the ninth, the Mets squeaked across another run to tie the game at seven and send it into extra innings. After Stewart walked to lead off the inning, he was lifted for a speedy pinch-runner in Lorenzo Cedrola. However, Cedrola was grounded at first base as the next two batters recorded outs. Down to their last out, the Mets brought Khalil Lee off the bench hoping to keep the game alive. Lee did just that, pounding a double to the right-center field wall that scored Cedrola all the way from first, knotted the game up at seven, and sent it into extra innings.
Neither team scored in the tenth, so the game remained tied into the top of the 11th inning when Lehigh Valley (14-15) scored twice to take a 9-7 lead. Jim Haley began the inning as the free runner at second base, moved to third on a Jake Cave fly out to center field, and promptly pranced home when Weston Wilson laced an RBI double to left field for an 8-7 Lehigh Valley lead. Then, later in the inning, Wilson scored when Scott Kingery looped a single into left field for his first hit of the night and a 9-7 lead. It could’ve been worse for the Mets, however, as they managed to escape the inning without further damage and leave the bases loaded for the IronPigs.
That escape in the top of the 11th would prove to be fortuitous in the bottom of the 11th as the Mets completed their grand comeback. Danny Mendick started the inning as the free runner at second base. Cedrola led off with a walk that put two runners on base with nobody out. Jaylin Davis then flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to advance Mendick to third with one out. With Jonathan Araúz at the plate, Cedrola stole second base. Araúz then plopped a soft single into shallow right field, plating Mendick to make it a 9-8 game. Lee came back to the plate and provided magic once again, lacing a double into the right-field corner to score Cedrola, advance Araúz to third, and make it a tie game, 9-9.
Then, the ballgame would end in unique and odd fashion. Michael Perez was intentionally walked to load up the bases with one out, bringing Tim Locastro to the plate. On the first pitch of the plate appearance, Locastro swung and hit the catcher’s mitt while fouling a ball off as catcher’s interference was called. That play allowed Araúz to score as the Mets walked off as 10-9 winners in a wacky, marathon baseball game.
Early on, it looked like the game was destined to be a wire-to-wire win for Lehigh Valley who surged out to a 7-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning. The IronPigs played long ball to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the second with a two-out, two-run shot from Jordan Qsar opened the scoring, followed by a solo shot from the next batter, Vimael Machin, that made it a 3-0 game.
Syracuse didn’t take the two home runs from the IronPigs in the top of the second lying down, hitting a pair of homers of their own in the bottom of the second. DJ Stewart and Jaylin Davis hit back-to-back solo home runs to slim the deficit to 3-2. The pair have combined for five home runs and eight total extra-base hits already in this week’s series.
From there, the IronPigs stretched their lead over the next handful of innings, scoring twice in the third and two more times in the fifth to take that 7-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. In the third, Lehigh Valley scored twice on a two-run double from Weston Wilson that plated Jim Haley and Jake Cave. In the fifth, the IronPigs scored twice again when Jake Cave provided an RBI double followed by an RBI triple from Simon Muzziotti later in the inning that plated Cave.
Despite the deficit, the Syracuse bullpen allowed the comeback to happen. Nate Lavender, Josh Walker, Grant Hartwig, and Seth Elledge combined to throw five and on-third scoreless innings in relief while the Mets offense mounted its comeback.
Syracuse and Lehigh Valley return to action on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader. The first game begins at 1:05 p.m. with the second game to follow approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.