SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets just fell too far behind on Wednesday, scoring three late runs but eventually falling short by an 8-4 final to the Louisville Bats (Triple-A Cincinnati Reds) on Wednesday morning-turned-afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. It was a fun environment at the ballpark on Wednesday, as a sold-out crowd full of screaming school kids on Education Day cheered the home team on. The game started at a special time of 11:05 a.m. to accommodate all the classes attending the game.
Fresh off scoring 17 runs on Tuesday night, Louisville (23-23) got right back to it on Wednesday. The Bats scored at least one run in the second through sixth innings, highlighted by a three-run third inning and lone runs in the other frames. Highlights for Louisville in the steady stream of runs included a solo homer from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the third (his 11th home run of the season) and RBI doubles from Will Benson in the third and fourth. Elly De La Cruz, widely considered the top prospect in all of baseball, also walked, stole two bases, and scored a run in the top of the fifth.
While the Louisville offense was doing its job, their starting pitching was equally excellent. Andrew Abbott tossed six and two-thirds innings of one-run baseball, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out nine Syracuse (19-28) batters. Seven of the nine strikeouts for Abbott were swinging. The only run he allowed was via a solo home run by DJ Stewart in the top of the fourth.
True to form, the Mets batters didn’t go down without a fight. In the bottom of the eighth, trailing 7-1 and with a steady rain falling, the Syracuse lineup mounted a rally. First, the Mets loaded up the bases with two outs via walks to Carlos Cortes and Stewart plus a single from Ronny Mauricio. Then, Jaylin Davis brought everyone home when he lined a sharp double down the left-field line and turned it into a 7-4 game with one swing. A walk to Luis Guillorme brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Jonathan Araúz then struck out to end the best chance Syracuse would have to get back in the ballgame.
In the top of the ninth, Louisville tacked on an insurance run when Matt Reynolds walked to start the inning, moved up to second on a Michael Siani walk, and scored when Alejo Lopez doubled off the base of the right-field wall.
In the bottom of the ninth, now trailing 8-4, the Mets put two runners back on base with two outs due to a Lorenzo Cedrola single and a Danny Mendick walk. However, Mauricio struck out to end the game and give the Mets back-to-back losses to start the six-game series against Louisville. Syracuse left seven runners on base in the last four innings.
Syracuse is home all week at NBT Bank Stadium, taking on the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Louisville Bats. Game three of the six-game series is set for an 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Thursday night. Left-hander Joey Lucchesi is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Randy Wynne for the Bats.