SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets started their week-long series against the Worcester Red Sox in style, taking both halves of a doubleheader on a chilly Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium with a 1-0 walk-off win in eight inning in game one and a 4-2 win in game two. The Mets’ pitching staff starred, allowing just two combined runs in the doubleheader with 20 combined strikeouts in 15 total innings.
Game one of the doubleheader was a good, old-fashioned pitchers’ duel. Neither team scored in the first seven innings, combining for just six total hits. Both teams took different routes to the seven scoreless innings. Syracuse utilized four different pitchers in their seven innings of shutout work. Thomas Szapucki (two innings), Adonis Medina (two innings), Andrew Mitchell (two innings) and Eric Orze (one inning) combined to completely confuse the Red Sox hitters, striking out 12 batters in the process.
On the other side, Worcester rode an outstanding start from Connor Seabold. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out five batters. Seabold finished remarkably strong, retiring ten of the final 12 batters he faced.
Syracuse’s (3-10) best chance to score early in game one of the doubleheader came in the bottom of the third inning. The Mets loaded the bags with one out via a Quinn Brodey double, a Wyatt Young single, and a Travis Blankenhorn walk. Seabold bore down after that, striking out back-to-back batters in Daniel Palka and Carlos Rincon to end the potential run-scoring rally.
As for Worcester (9-5), the Red Sox had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning. Three walks from Mitchell had the bags all filled with two outs, but the left-hander promptly induced a flyout to center field from Christin Stewart to wiggle his way out of the jam.
The game remained scoreless into the eighth inning, the first extra inning in a seven-inning game as a part of a doubleheader. By rule, the inning started with a runner on second and nobody out. However, on Worcester’s side of things, Yolmer Sánchez moved to third but did not score, as Stephen Nogosek induced two groundouts and a popout to pitch a clean frame.
Syracuse started their hitting half of the eighth with Brodey at second base, and the home team would not be denied. Brodey moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored when the very next batter, Blankenhorn, lofted a fly ball to center field deep enough for a sacrifice fly to score Brodey and give the Mets a 1-0 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
Game two of the doubleheader got off to an inauspicious start for Syracuse. Worcester plated two runs in the first inning via a two-run sacrifice fly by Ryan Fitzgerald, scoring Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs. After that, the Red Sox would not score again. Rob Zastryzny, Trey Cobb, and Alex Claudio combined to toss seven solid innings, surrendering just four total hits. For the day, the Mets used eight total pitchers and allowed just six total hits in the 15 overall innings.
The Mets powered their way in front for good in game two of the doubleheader via a big blast in the bottom of the third inning. With two runners on base and two outs, Daniel Palka hit a booming blast over the right-field fence, giving Syracuse a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The left-handed hitter now has three home runs and ten runs driven in on the young season.
The home team added insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brodey walked leading off the frame, swiping second to move into scoring position with nobody out. Back-to-back strikeouts dimmed the scoring hopes in the inning, but Nick Meyer made them shine bright again. The Syracuse catcher one-hopped the left-center field wall for a double, plating Brodey and completing the evening’s scoring. Meyer went 2-for-2 in the second half of the doubleheader, adding a single and walk to his RBI double.
Syracuse would hang on to win game two of the doubleheader, 4-2, but it got interesting in the top of the seventh inning. Roldani Baldwin was on first base with one out, and Grant Williams bounced a groundball to shortstop that potentially could have turned into a game-ending double play. However, a fielding error by Wyatt Young extended the game, putting runners on first and second with one out. A Jarren Duran strikeout put the Mets one out away from a win, but it would have to wait. A Jeter Downs walk loaded the bases with two outs, but a Triston Casas groundout to first base ended the game and gave Syracuse a doubleheader sweep of the first-place WooSox.
Syracuse and Worcester continue their six-game series on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Right-hander Jose Rodriguez is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez for the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.