Manchester, NH (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets scored three runs in the ninth inning on back-to-back home runs before heavy rain terminated play with one out, sealing a 7-6 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Monday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The rubber match defeat snapped Binghamton’s 15-series unbeaten streak.
Trailing 7-3 in the ninth and with persistent rain falling, the B-Mets refused to roll over in their final game before the All-Star Break. Rhyne Hughes started the inning by ripping a double to left-center against reliever Alan Farina. Two batters later, Darrell Ceciliani lined a two-run homer over the right-field wall to cut New Hampshire’s lead in half. Richard Lucas followed by crushing a solo homer off the hotel beyond the left-field wall.
After Farina missed with his first pitch to Danny Muno, crew chief Joe Born summoned the tarp on the field for the second time in the game. The teams waited for 38 minutes before the contest was officially called.
More than four hours prior, Binghamton had threatened in the first inning, but failed to break through against Fisher Cats starter Sean Nolin. Josh Rodriguez lined a double to left and Cesar Puello bounced a single past shortstop Kevin Nolan to put runners at the corners. Nolin bounced back by picking off Puello and fanning Allan Dykstra to end the inning. Nolin’s strikeout started an impressive stretch for the southpaw. He plowed through four more scoreless innings, retiring 13 straight B-Mets.
Darin Gorski was equally as impressive for the B-Mets through his first four innings. The B-Mets starter retired the first ten Fisher Cats he faced, collecting five strikeouts along the way.
New Hampshire finally cracked the scoreboard in the fourth. Andy Burns became the first Fisher Cat to reach base when he walked with one out. Brad Glenn cashed in by ripping an RBI double into the left-field alley, chasing Burns home with the game’s first run.
Gorski recorded two outs in the fifth inning and worked ahead of Jack Murphy with a 1-2 count before heavy rain halted play. Chase Huchingson took the reins after a 68-minute rain delay and retired Murphy to end the frame.
The lengthy stoppage forced Nolin to end his start prematurely after five innings. Tyson Brummett took over in the sixth and immediately surrendered a double to Darrell Ceciliani. The B-Mets centerfielder stole third and scored on Danny Muno’s sac fly to right.
Luck was on the B-Mets side again in the seventh. Following a single and a walk, Hughes lifted a fly ball to deep left-center field. Ryan Schimpf, playing in just his second game of the season in left, raced back to the warning track, but dropped the ball, allowing Allan Dykstra to score the go-ahead run from second.
Binghamton’s one-run lead proved to be short-lived. Schimpf walked against Huchingson to start the seventh and came home when Kevin Ahrens threaded an RBI double down the third base line.
The B-Mets used one final lucky break to regain the lead in the top of the eighth. After Cesar Puello walked with two outs against reliever Scott Gracey, Dykstra hit a high pop up behind short. The fly dropped between shortstop Kevin Nolan and centerfielder Adam Loewen and allowed Puello to score.
Given a one-run lead, reliever John Church struggled with his command in the eighth. The righty walked three of the first four he faced to load the bases. Pedro Feliciano got the call from the bullpen, but could not halt the offense. Schimpf banged a bases-clearing double off the wall to give the Fisher Cats a 5-3 lead. Kevin Nolan followed with a single and Ahrens brought two more home with another double down the third base line.
Church (2-4) was tagged for three runs while recording two outs in the loss. Feliciano suffered his first blown save. Gracey (2-0) allowed one run in an inning of relief to earn his second win of the series.
The B-Mets (53-33) head into the two-day All-Star Break with the best record in the Eastern League. B-Met All-Stars Cesar Puello, Josh Rodriguez, Allan Dykstra, Logan Verrett and Jeff Walters will represent the Eastern Division at the All-Star Game on Wednesday night in New Britain, Connecticut.
The B-Mets will regroup and kick off the second half of their season on Thursday against the Portland Sea Dogs. The clubs will resume their game that was originally suspended in the third inning on June 25. First pitch for the resumption is scheduled for 5:35 PM. A seven-inning contest will follow the completion of the suspended game.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)