Charlotte, N.C. (SYR METS) – In a week of tight baseball games at Truist Field in Uptown Charlotte, Sunday night’s game followed the trend. The Syracuse Mets surged back from an early six-run deficit, but the Charlotte Knights battled back late to nab a 10-8 win over the Mets in the finale of a six-game series. Charlotte won four games in the six-game series. Each of the games in this week’s series were decided by two runs or less. Five of the six games were decided by just one run. Despite the loss, Mark Vientos tied his professional career high with four hits. Vientos had four hits on August 17, 2017 with the Gulf Coast League Mets.

After the first inning was scoreless, Charlotte (46-70) roared ahead with a five-run flurry in the bottom of the second. The Knights strung five hits and a walk together to score their five runs, four of which came with two outs. Blake Rutherford doubled starting the inning, followed by a flyout from Micker Adolfo that moved Rutherford up to third base. Craig Dedelow then came to the plate and lined a sharp single into right field, plating Rutherford and making it a 1-0 game. Zach Remillard struck out for the second out of the inning, but from there, Charlotte really rolled. Laz Rivera doubled home Dedelow for a 2-0 edge, Nick Ciuffo walked to extend the inning, and an RBI single from Mark Payton scored Rivera to make it 3-0 and advance Ciuffo up to second. The next batter, Lenyn Sosa, continued his power surge with a double off the top of the center-field wall that plated Ciuffo and Payton and completed all the scoring in the frame as the Knights pushed their advantage to 5-0.

Charlotte scored again in the bottom of the third. Rutherford doubled, and Adolfo singled to put runners on first and third. Then, the Knights executed a double steal that saw Adolfo swipe second, Rutherford swipe home, and the home team take a 6-0 lead.

From there, Syracuse (50-66) began to mount its charge. It started innocently enough with a lone run in the top of the fourth. Mark Vientos led off with a double, followed by a Daniel Palka single that plated Vientos and slimmed the deficit to 6-1.

In the sixth the Mets got closer again when Palka lined a two-run home run over the left-field wall fence, a two-out shot that brought home Vientos yet again, trimming the Charlotte lead to three, 6-3. Palka is now tied with Vientos for the team lead with 22 home runs on the season.

In the seventh, Syracuse came all the way back to tie the game. JT Riddle started the inning with a single, followed by a Gosuke Katoh two-run shot that sailed over the wall in right-center field and slashed the deficit to one, 6-5. After a Juan Loyo lineout, Travis Jankowski walked, and Francisco Álvarez singled to put runners right back on first and third with one out. Dominic Smith struck out swinging to leave the fate of the inning hanging in the balance, but then Vientos came through one more time this week. The 22-year-old from Florida singled into center field, scoring Jankowski to tie the game up, 6-6. Vientos finished the game 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI. For the week, Vientos went 13-for-24 with three home runs and 10 runs driven in.

In the top of the eighth, Syracuse plated yet another run to take its first lead of the night. Travis Blankenhorn led off with a walk, followed by a single from Riddle that put Blankenhorn on third and Riddle on first with one out. Then, Katoh strode to the plate and got the job done yet again. His sharp single into right field scored Blankenhorn, gave the Mets their seventh unanswered run, and gave Syracuse its first lead of the night, 7-6. Katoh finished the game 2-for-5 with three runs driven in. Riddle also put a capper on a truly tremendous week of work. In six games against Charlotte, the middle infielder had at least two hits in each game and went a combined 14-for-26 at the plate, good for a .538 batting average.

The Mets were flying high with a 7-6 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but then their hopes of winning and splitting the six-game series were officially grounded. Charlotte scored four times in the eighth inning to go ahead for good, powered by a pair of long balls. After a leadoff walk and single, Nick Ciuffo hit a go-ahead three-run home run to give the Knights a 9-7 advantage. Mark Payton followed with an inside the park homer that made it a 10-7 ballgame.

Truist Field in Charlotte is known for being a hitter’s paradise, and this week held true to form. The two teams combined for 25 home runs in the six-game series.

In the top of the ninth, Syracuse had one last gasp left. Down 10-7 entering the inning, Smith doubled to start the frame, promptly moving up to third on a single from Vientos. Palka then lofted a fly ball deep enough into center field for a sacrifice fly out that scored Smith and made it a 10-8 game. Palka finished the week with ten runs driven in. Terrance Gore struck out to put the Mets down to their final out, but then Riddle doubled for his third hit of the night to place runners on second and third with two outs. Katoh then came to the plate with the chance to tie the game with one base hit. Yet, it wasn’t to be, as Katoh lined out to deep center field to end the game and give Charlotte a 10-8 win.

The week of baseball at Truist Field was competitive and certainly high-scoring. The two teams combined for 101 runs in the six-game series, which averages out to just about 17 combined runs in each game of the series. Four of the six games in the series had at least that many runs scored.

Syracuse returns home all next week, taking on the Worcester Red Sox in a six-game series from Tuesday through Sunday. The first game in the series is scheduled for Tuesday with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.