SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets swept Wednesday’s doubleheader over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on at NBT Bank Stadium with a 3-2 Syracuse walk-off win in nine innings in game one and a 3-0 Mets win in game two where the pitching staff one-hit the RailRiders. After a rainout on Tuesday, the Mets are playing seven games in five days this week. Syracuse also will play a doubleheader on Friday to make up for Tuesday’s rainout. Wednesday’s doubleheader was to make up a postponed game from April 10th.
In game one, Syracuse (20-34) trailed, 2-1, going to the bottom of the seventh inning, which is scheduled to be the final inning in doubleheader games. JT Riddle led off the frame with a walk, and Travis Blankenhorn followed with a single to put runners at first and second base. A fielder’s choice groundout by Nick Meyer put Riddle on third with one out with Daniel Johnson coming to the plate. Johnson got the job done, lofting a fly ball deep enough into right field for a sacrifice fly that scored Riddle from third to knot the game up, 2-2, and send the contest to extra innings. Johnson has driven in five runs in the last four games.
Good defense from both sides prevented either team from scoring in the eighth, and the Mets held the RailRiders scoreless in the top of the ninth. Carlos Rincon was the free runner starting the frame at second base for Syracuse with nobody out. Riddle popped out for the first out of the frame, bringing Blankenhorn to the plate. Blankenhorn lined a single into right-center field, scoring Rincon and giving the Mets their fourth win in the last five games for a 3-2 Syracuse walk-off win. Blankenhorn is in the midst of his hottest stretch of the season offensively. Last week, the 25-year-old went 9-18 in five games at the Worcester Red Sox with two doubles, two home runs, and five RBIs. On Wednesday, Blankenhorn had two hits in game one and a double in game two.
Game one of the doubleheader was marked by strong pitching for much of the contest. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (19-36) received another strong start from JP Sears, who pitched five innings of one-run ball, allowing just two hits while walking one and striking out three batters. Sears has allowed just three earned runs in 31 and one-third innings during eight appearances, including six starts, in Triple-A.
On the other side, Syracuse’s pitching staff kept the Mets in the ballgame. Thomas Szapucki and Yoan López combined to allow just two runs on six hits in the game’s first six innings with four strikeouts. López was particularly solid out of the bullpen, going two scoreless frames with two strikeouts.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored a run in the top of the second inning on a José Peraza single after Phillip Evans doubled, taking a 1-0 lead. Then, the RailRiders added a run in the top of the third thanks to a two-out RBI double from Andujar to lead, 2-0.
The Mets scored their first run in the bottom of the third on a two-out RBI single from Dominic Smith, trimming the deficit to 2-1 before Syracuse’s comeback in the seventh.
Much like the first game of the doubleheader, the second game was also marked by quality pitching on both sides. RailRiders starter Hayden Wesneski held the Mets in check early, beginning the game with two scoreless innings. The right-hander entered the evening with a 3.52 ERA in ten starts and 46 innings with 45 strikeouts.
In the third, the start unraveled for Wesneski. After he recorded the first two outs of the inning in order, Luke Ritter walked, and Dominic Smith singled to put two runners on base. Daniel Palka brought both players home, pounding the first pitch he saw over the wall in right-center field to make it 3-0 Mets in the blink of an eye. Palka leads Syracuse with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs this season.
That was all the run support the Mets pitching staff would need, as they confused the RailRiders batters throughout the second game of the doubleheader. Tim Adleman started the game for Syracuse and pitched four no-hit innings. The only player to reach base against Adleman did so because of a fielding error. Tommy Hunter retired the first five batters he faced out of the bullpen before an Estevan Florial two-out double in the top of the sixth broke up Syracuse’s no-hitter. Hunter proceeded to strike out Oswald Peraza to complete two scoreless innings. Finally, Bryce Montes de Oca came out of the bullpen to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his first save of the season. Only two batters reached for the RailRiders in a truly excellent, one-hit performance by the Syracuse pitching staff.
Syracuse continues its jam-packed stretch of seven games in five days against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, on Thursday evening. Left-hander Mike Montgomery is scheduled to make the start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Ryan Weber for the RailRiders. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.