WORCESTER, M.A. (SYRACUSE METS) –
he Syracuse Mets put on an offensive clinic at Polar Park on Saturday, plating 16 runs on 20 hits as Syracuse rolled to a 16-6 win over the Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A Boston Red Sox) on a sunny afternoon and early evening in the middle of Massachusetts. Brett Baty, Francisco Álvarez, and Mark Vientos all hit home runs, while Ronny Mauricio chipped in a two-run double. Those four players are all ranked within the top eight prospects in the New York Mets’ minor league system and combined for five extra-base hits and ten runs driven in.
The party got going early on Saturday, as Brett Baty began his electric day at the dish with a solo home run to center field to power Syracuse (1-1) to a 1-0 lead right out of the starter’s blocks in the top of the first inning.
However, Worcester (1-1) would bounce back right in the bottom of the second to take its only lead of the afternoon. With Niko Goodrum on first base and one out, Caleb Hamilton launched a two-run home run over the center-field fence to give the WooSox a brief 2-1 lead. It was the first at-bat for Hamilton as a member of the Red Sox organization. He had spent the entirety of his professional career in the Minnesota Twins organization.
In the third inning, the parade to home plate truly began for the Mets. A two-run single from Jonathan Araúz with the bases loaded plated Danny Mendick and Baty (who had both singled earlier in the inning) to make it a 3-2 game. From there, the road team could just not stop scoring. The Mets would score at least one run in every inning the rest of the game except for the seventh, highlighted by multiple runs in the third, fourth, sixth, and ninth innings.
Highlights from the offensive bonanza include Brett Baty with a truly blistering day at the plate. By the end of the contest, he finished 4-for-5 at the plate with two home runs, five runs driven in, a walk, a stolen base, and four runs scored. The highlight of his night came in the sixth, when Baty lined an opposite-field grand slam over the left-field fence. The blast from Baty came with two outs in the inning and and two strikes in the count.
Not to be outdone, Ronny Mauricio chipped in a two-run double earlier in the sixth inning as the shortstop finished the day with two hits, a walk, two runs driven in, and a run scored. The other two premier prospects in the Syracuse lineup joined the party late too. On consecutive pitches in the top of the ninth inning, Francisco Álvarez and Mark Vientos launched no-doubt home runs that sailed over the center-field fence with ease. Álvarez has reached base six times in the first two games this season, while Vientos reached base four times on Saturday and also has reached six times in the first two games.
While the top prospects notably grabbed the headlines on Saturday, other hitters in the Syracuse Mets lineup certainly deserve praise. Every single member of the lineup had at least one hit and eight of the nine starters scored at least one run. Danny Mendick had two hits, walked, and scored three runs. Jonathan Araúz finished the game 3-for-6 at the plate with two singles, a double, and four runs driven in. Khalil Lee was splendid as well, going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and two runs scored. Lee also made a diving catch in right-field to save at least one run from scoring and end the bottom of the fourth inning.
While the Syracuse offense exploded, the pitching remained steady to put the Mets comfortably in position to win the ballgame. Joey Lucchesi made his first start of the season, allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits in four innings with two walks and four strikeouts. From there, William Woods, Grant Hartwig, and Jimmy Yacabonis pitched the final five innings of the game out of the bullpen. Hartwig was particularly impressive, tossing an inning and two-third scoreless innings with three strikeouts. The right-hander from Michigan has been a fast riser through the Mets’ minor-league system. Hartwig, who was undrafted out of the University of Miami (OH), pitched for four teams in the Mets’ minor-league system last season.
Syracuse wraps up its season-opening series at the Worcester Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. The third and final game in the series is set for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. Right-hander José Butto is scheduled to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Norwith Gudiño for the WooSox.