Portland, ME (WBNG Binghamton) Portland Sea Dogs catcher Matt Spring blasted a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to hand the Binghamton Mets a heartbreaking 10-7 loss at Hadlock Field on Saturday afternoon. Closer Jeff Walters suffered his first blown save of the season and Binghamton watched their season-long five game winning streak come to an end.
After a back-and-forth battle for eight innings, the B-Mets marched into the bottom of the ninth owning a 7-6 lead. Bidding for his twelfth save, Walters fell into trouble immediately, surrendering consecutive singles to Xander Bogaerts and Tony Thomas. The righty bounced back with two strikeouts, but walked Shannon Wilkerson on a border-line pitch to load the bases.
Having homered in the fourth inning, Spring took a 1-0 offering from Walters and went deep again, banging the walk-off round-tripper off the Citgo sign above the Maine Monster in left field.
In a game that saw 22 combined hits, the offense started early. Danny Muno led off the contest with his team-leading 27th walk of the season, stole second and scored when Cory Vaughn punched a two-out single to right.
Blake Forysthe followed in Muno’s footsteps in the second. The B-Mets catcher walked to start the frame, stole second, took third on a passed ball and came home on Wilfredo Tovar’s bloop single to left.
Portland countered with four straight runs off B-Met starter Mark Cohoon. Heiker Meneses put the Sea Dogs on the board in the second with a two-out RBI triple and came home when Cohoon uncorked his first wild pitch of the season. Spring launched a two-run homer over the Maine Monster in the fourth to give Portland a 4-2 advantage.
Binghamton fought back and converted two singles, a pair of stolen bases, a walk and a throwing error into two runs to tie the game in the fifth. Josh Rodriguez cut the deficit to one with an RBI single and scored later in the frame on a throwing error by Spring on an attempted steal.
Portland re-took the lead in the sixth against reliever Chase Huchingson. The southpaw paid for hitting Derrik Gibson with an 0-2 pitch immediately as Peter Hissey ripped a go-ahead triple to right. Tony Thomas added to the lead with a solo homer in the seventh.
Trailing by two, Binghamton came to life in the eighth against Brock Huntzinger. The visitors started the inning with three consecutive singles and scored a run on a wild pitch. Huntzinger bounced back to get two outs and nearly escaped the jam.
With runners at second and third, Tovar sent a roller to short. Gibson booted the grounder, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score.
Shawn Teufel preserved the lead with a scoreless eighth, but Walters (0-1) could not keep a lid on it in the ninth. Huntzinger (3-0) suffered his first blown save, but collected the victory after Spring’s late magic.
The B-Mets (23-19) complete their series in Portland in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM. RHP Cory Mazzoni takes the hill against LHP Drake Britton.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton’s last walk-off loss on a homer came against the Sea Dogs on July 20, 2011 (Mitch Dening off John Lujan)…Binghamton stole a season-high five bases…Both of Binghamton’s walk-off losses in 2013 have occurred at Hadlock Field