Syracuse, N.Y. (SYR METS) – The Syracuse Mets just would not be denied on Sunday afternoon, rallying back from an 8-4 deficit to score the game’s final five runs and take down the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A affiliate, Toronto Blue Jays) by a 9-8 final on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets won the final three games in the series, earning a split in the six-game series. Francisco Álvarez had a career-high five RBIs in the game.

Buffalo (72-67) brought the thunder early in the game, scoring eight times in the first four innings. First, the Bisons scored three times in the first, powered by an RBI double from Rafael Lantigua and a two-run homer from Davis Schneider to give the road team a 3-0 edge.

Syracuse (59-82) responded in a big way in the bottom of the first, After Travis Jankowski and Jake Mangum singled to start the inning, Álvarez launched a game-tying, three-run home run for his eighth Triple-A home run and his second home run of the week, knotting the game up, 3-3.

In the second, the Bisons used extra-base power again for run number four when Stevie Berman launched a solo shot, regaining a lead for Buffalo, 4-3. Berman finished the game with two walks in addition to his solo home run.

The Bisons scored another pair of runs in the top of the third. Schneider doubled and scored on a Yoshi Tsutsugo home run as Buffalo took a 6-3 lead.

The Mets once again trimmed the deficit, this time in the bottom of the third. Álvarez drove in yet another run, an RBI single that plated Jankowski, who had doubled earlier in the inning to make it a 6-4 ballgame. Álvarez, the 20-year-old catcher widely considered the top prospect in Minor League Baseball, would finish the game 2-for-4 with five runs driven in.

Buffalo got its largest of the game in the fourth. Berman led off the frame with a walk. Then, it was Trevor Schwecke’s turn to hit a two-run shot, bringing home Berman to complete the eight-pack of runs for Buffalo in the first four innings as Buffalo took an 8-4 lead. The Bisons scored the runs on seven hits, all of which remarkably were extra-base hits. Buffalo smacked four home runs and added three doubles in the early scoring bonanza.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets entered the frame trailing, 8-4, but Syracuse would no longer trail by the end of the inning, as they scored four runs on three hits plus a walk and an RBI groundout to knot the game up at eight. Nick Meyer singled with one out to start the fun, followed by a Jankowski walk to put two runners on base with one out. Mangum then singled home Meyer to make it an 8-5 ballgame. That was followed by an RBI groundout from Álvarez to cut the deficit to two, 8-6. Then, with a runner remaining on base and two outs, Carlos Rincon knotted the game up with a booming, two-run home run that crashed into the batter’s eye beyond the center-field fence, tying the score, 8-8.

It remained an 8-8 game into the bottom of the seventh when Jake Mangum made more magic happen. The 26-year-old launched a solo home run into the Syracuse Mets bullpen beyond the left-field fence, his second homer of the season that put the Mets in the driver’s seat for good, 9-8. Mangum finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and two runs driven in. Since the calendar turned to September, the Mississippi State alum is on an otherworldly tear. Mangum is batting .381 this month with two home runs, four doubles, and ten runs driven in.

While the Mets offense sparked the winning fire late, Syracuse’s bullpen made sure it wouldn’t go to waste. Buffalo may have scored eight runs on seven extra-base hits in the first four innings, but after that, they wouldn’t have another hit. Just one Bisons batter reached base in the final five innings, as Mets relievers Sam Clay, Yoan López, Locke St. John, and R.J. Alvarez worked the remainder of game in scoreless fashion with two strikeouts. Alvarez earned his second save in three days by working a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Syracuse now hits the road for its final road trip of the season, taking place next week at Polar Park against the Worcester Red Sox. The first game in the series is set for a 6:45 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday evening.