Syracuse, NY(SYR METS) – The Syracuse Mets came back from two separate three-run deficits and walked off in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 9-8 win over the Louisville Bats on Memorial Day Sunday at NBT Bank Stadium. On a sunny and warm Sunday night, an electric crowd of 7,181 packed the park to cheer on the Mets to the dramatic win. During the six-game homestand, 39,906 fans came to NBT Bank Stadium for an average of 6,651 fans per game.
Syracuse and Louisville entered the bottom of the ninth inning tied, 8-8. Tayron Guerrero came out of the bullpen for the Bats and was wildly ineffective, recording just one out while walking the bases loaded. That necessitated another call to the bullpen, bringing Franklin German into the fray. German struck out Carlos Cortes to make it two outs in the frame and just one out from the third extra-inning game of the week. However, Lorenzo Cedrola had other ideas. The former Louisville Bat lined a sharp single into left field, ending the game and propelling Syracuse to the 9-8 walk-off win.
Louisville (26-24) entered Sunday night’s game on a five-game win streak this week, racking up 51 runs on 69 hits in the initial five games of the series. The Bats got right back to work on Sunday, scoring three times in the first to race out to a 3-0 lead. All of the runs came with two outs after Alejo Lopez struck out and Nick Martini grounded out to start the game. Elly De La Cruz singled to extend the inning, followed by a two-run blast from Christian Encarnacion-Strand that put Louisville up, 2-0. The next batter, Matt Reynolds, smacked a home run of his own over the left-field fence, making it a 3-0 game just like that. Reynolds was making a pseudo-homecoming this week to NBT Bank Stadium. Reynolds had played for both the Syracuse Chiefs and Syracuse Mets previously in his professional career.
In the bottom of the first, Syracuse (20-31) got two runs back of their own with two outs. After Danny Mendick popped out and Jonathan Araúz lined out to start the inning, Ronny Mauricio singled and then DJ Stewart lofted a fly ball over the right-field fence to make it a 3-2 game just like that. It was the second home run of the week for Stewart and his fourth extra-base hit.
In the top of the second, the Mets surrendered another run to the Bats and fell behind further by a 4-2 score. Jhonny Pereda singled to lead off the inning and then moved to second on an Andy Yerzy groundout. Another groundout from Lopez had the Mets dreaming of getting out of the inning unscathed, but it wasn’t to be. Martini laced a double to right field that plated Pereda and turned it into a 4-2 advantage for Louisville.
In the bottom of the third, the Mets rallied all the way back with three runs to take a 5-4 lead for the first time on the night. After Warren Saunders flied out to start the inning, Syracuse got to work. Consecutive singles from Mendick and Araúz put two runners on base with one out, and then Mauricio was hit by a pitch to load up the bases. Stewart, the next batter, drew a bases-loaded walk to push across one run and make it a 4-3 game. Jaylin Davis followed with a two-run single into center field that propelled the home team in front, 5-4. Davis now has hits in 12 straight games and has reached base in 13 straight.
The lead wouldn’t last. Louisville scored once in the fourth, once in the sixth, and two times in the seventh to score four unanswered runs and build an 8-5 lead. Once again, each of the runs came with two outs. Yerzy hit a two-out, two-strike solo homer to tie the game in the fourth, 5-5.
In the sixth, Matt Reynolds doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a one-out groundout, and scored on a two-out wild pitch from Eric Orze for a 6-5 Bats edge.
In the seventh, raw power from Encarnacion-Strand burned the Mets again. With two runners on base and two outs, the right-handed slugger pounded a double off the base of the center-field wall that scored two more runs to give Louisville an 8-5 advantage. Encarnacion-Strand finished the game with four RBIs.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets once again trimmed the deficit via the long ball. Nick Meyer doubled to start the inning, and after Warren Saunders grounded out, Mendick smacked a two-run shot over the left-field fence to make it an 8-7 ballgame. It was the first home run of the week for Mendick and his fourth of the season.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets scored again to knot the game up in the late innings. With Jaylin Davis on first base and one out, Lorenzo Cedrola hit a groundball to shortstop that looked like it could be an inning-ending double play. However, Cedrola beat the throw to first base for just a fielder’s choice. The next batter, Nick Meyer, kept the inning alive by working an excellent walk in a plate appearance that took ten pitches. Luis Guillorme then strode to the plate as a pinch hitter and tied up the ballgame, smacking a single into center field that scored Cedrola, knotting the game up, 8-8. Guillorme also had a game-tying single in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s game.
That sequence set the table for Syracuse’s walk-off win in the ninth to snap a five-game losing streak. The Mets have now scored at least seven runs in 21 of 51 games this season with an 11-10 record in those games.
Syracuse hits the road for a six-game series in seven days at the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, the Rochester Red Wings. Game one of the series will be played on Memorial Day Monday. Right-hander Alex Valverde is scheduled to start on the mound for the Mets, opposed by right-hander José Ureña for the Red Wings. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. at Innovative Field.