The Syracuse Mets battled back but then fell short in ten innings on Thursday night, losing to the Louisville Bats (Triple-A Cincinnati Reds) by a 7-5 final on a sunny evening at NBT Bank Stadium. The Bats have now won each of the first three games in the six-game series.

Early on, the game was dominated by strong pitching, as neither team scored in the first four innings. The scoring seal was finally broken in the bottom of the fifth, when Syracuse (19-29) scratched across a run to take a 1-0 lead. Lorenzo Cedrola walked to start the inning and promptly swiped second base, but he was still stuck at second base with two outs as Luis Guillorme strode to the plate. Guillorme got the job done, plopping a shallow single into left field that plated Cedrola and gave the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last. Louisville (24-23) scored three times in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Joey Lucchesi tossed five scoreless innings to start the game, but the sixth would prove to be a problem. First, Nick Martini walked and Elly De La Cruz hit a two-run homer to propel the Bats in front, 2-1, ending Lucchesi’s 21 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings streak in Triple-A in the process.

Louisville wasn’t done scoring in the frame, taking advantage of Syracuse miscues to plate another run. First, the bases loaded up with one out when Matt Reynolds reached on an error, TJ Hopkins singled, and Michael Siani walked. Then, Chuckie Robinson rolled a groundball to second base that seemed destined to be an inning-ending double play. However, Ronny Mauricio misplayed the ball, allowing Reynolds to score and keeping the bases loaded with one out in now a 3-1 game. The next two batters were retired in order, limiting the damage to three runs in the frame.

Syracuse slimmed the deficit to just one run in the bottom of the sixth when Jonathan Araúz hit a solo home run. He’s had a solid week so far at the plate, homering three times combined in the first three games of the series. Araúz added a walk in the game to reach base two total times.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets tied the game aided by some help from Mother Nature. A one-out single from Mauricio put a runner on base, bringing DJ Stewart to the plate. The former Florida State Seminole lofted a lazy fly high in the air to left field, but Martini lost the ball amidst the lights and the setting sun, allowing the ball to fall harmlessly to the grass and Mauricio to score all the way from first to tie the game, 3-3.

It remained a tie game into the top of the tenth, when the Bats scored twice to finish off the night’s scoring. It looked like Syracuse would evade danger in the frame, as Nate Lavender struck out consecutive batters to make two outs and keep the free runner, Martini, at second base. From there, the inning went downhill. A double from Reynolds plated Martini and made it a 4-3 game, Hopkins was intentionally walked and then Siani singled to make it a 5-3 game and give the Bats the cushion they would need to win the game.

In the bottom of the tenth, the Mets had one last chance to make some noise. With Nick Meyer as the free runner at second base, Guillorme struck out to start the inning followed by a Mauricio walk to put the tying runs on base with one out. However, Stewart then struck out and Jaylin Davis flew out to end the game quietly and give the Bats their third win in as many days. Syracuse left eight runners on base in the loss.

Syracuse is home all week at NBT Bank Stadium, taking on the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Louisville Bats. Game four of the six-game series is set for an 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Friday night. Right-hander David Griffin is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Levi Stoudt for the Bats.