The Syracuse Mets fell in frustrating fashion once again on Saturday night, losing in ten innings to the Louisville Bats (Triple-A Cincinnati Reds) by a 6-4 final at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets have now lost the first five games in the six-game series. Syracuse missed multiple opportunities, going 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Syracuse (19-31) received a start from pitcher David Peterson that truly had a little bit of everything. On the one hand, Peterson showcased some wicked stuff throughout the outing, striking out ten batters in his four and two-third innings of work. Those ten strikeouts tied a career high. Every single one of his strikeouts was a swinging strikeout, utilizing a tantalizing offering of breaking balls to keep Louisville (26-23) batters off balance. In fact, Peterson struck out each of the first six batters he faced on Saturday night swinging.

However, there was also some bad in Peterson’s outing. By the time he was relieved from the game after 102 pitches, the left-hander had allowed four runs on six hits plus five walks. The rough inning for Peterson was the third inning as he allowed three of his runs and five of his hits in that frame alone. Nine Louisville batters came to the plate in the third, highlighted by a home run from Chuckie Robinson, his third of the week.

The Mets offense hung around early, scoring twice in the second and once in the fifth to make it a 4-3 game entering the later innings. In the second, Carlos Cortes smacked a two-run home run to put Syracuse on the board offensively for a 2-0 lead. In the fifth, Cortes did it again, driving in Lorenzo Cedrola via an RBI double to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Cortes also had two doubles and homered in Tuesday night’s game, starting what has turned out to be a strong week at the plate for the former South Carolina Gamecock. Cortes has six hits and has reached base nine times in the first five games of the series.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets knotted the game back up via some timely hitting. Down, 4-3, entering the frame and with one out, Nick Meyer singled to put a runner on base. Danny Mendick was then hit by a pitch to put two runners on base with one out, bringing Luis Guillorme to the plate. Guillorme fell down in the count 0-2, but then he got the job done, grounding a single into center field to score Meyer and tie the game, 4-4.

However, from there, the Mets could not score and take the lead, continuing quite the frustrating theme. Syracuse left two runners on base in each inning from the sixth through ninth and ten total runners on base in the first nine innings of the ballgame. Syracuse left 31 total runners on base in the first four games of the series.

In the bottom of the ninth was particularly frustrating for the Mets. Danny Mendick singled to start the inning and moved to second on a groundout, putting the winning run on second base with one out. Ronny Mauricio was intentionally walked, placing runners on first and second base with one out. A Jaylin Davis strikeout briefly quelled the momentum, bringing Jonathan Araúz to the plate with the game on the line. A wild pitch moved each runner up a case, suddenly putting the winning run just 90 feet away from home. However, Araúz struck out to leave two runners in scoring position and send the game to extra innings.

While the Mets offense was struggling to provide the knockout punch, their bullpen held down the fort. TJ McFarland, Dennis Santana, and Zach Muckenhirn combined to toss four and one-third scoreless relief innings, allowing three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Muckenhirn once again was rock solid out of the pen, tossing two hitless innings with two strikeouts and a walk. The left-hander, who made his MLB debut earlier this season, has been about as good a reliever as you’ll find in the Triple-A ranks. In en appearances with the Syracuse Mets, Muckenhirn has allowed just two earned runs in 21 and one-thirds innings, good for a 0.84 ERA.

In the top of the tenth, Louisville scored twice to make it 6-4 and put the game out of reach. Christian Encarnacion-Strand began the frame as the free runner at second base, advancing to third on a one-out flyout from TJ Hopkins. Michael Siani was then intentionally walked and promptly swiped second base to put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Then, a wild pitch scored Hopkins and a single from Robinson plated Siani and made it a 6-4 game seemingly in the blink of an eye. The Mets couldn’t muster up any offense in the bottom of the tenth, falling in extra innings for the second time this week. Syracuse also lost in ten innings in Thursday night’s game.

Syracuse wraps up its six-game series at NBT Bank Stadium against the Louisville Bats on Sunday evening. The series finale is set for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Sunday night. Right-hander José Butto is scheduled to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz for the Bats.