Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets scored nine runs over the final five innings and matched a season-high with fourteen hits, but fell just short in a 10-9 loss to the Portland Sea Dogs Friday night at NYSEG Stadium. The B-Mets left 12 men on base, and left the tying on run second base in the ninth inning.
Cory Mazzoni fell behind immediately in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Michael Almanzar hit a fly ball off the wall in centerfield. He got a favorable bounce off the wall, and sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. They added to the lead with a Tony Thomas RBI single in the second to put Portland up 5-0.
Portland starter Anthony Ranaudo held the B-Met offense down through the first four innings. In the fifth however, things started to turn around. With two outs and a runner on first base, Ranaudo was removed from the game after 96 pitches.
Allan Dykstra immediately welcomed Miguel Celestino to the game with an RBI double down the left field line. Cory Vaughn then followed by yanking another RBI double to make it a 5-2 game. Portland responded in the top of the sixth inning with two runs of their own. Xander Bogaerts hit a hard ground ball right back up the middle which scored two runs against Dylan Owen.
In the bottom of the sixth, Richard Lucas reached first on an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error by Nick Natoli. A groundout put him at third base, and with two outs Lucas came home and scored on a passed ball by Christian Vazquez. Once again Portland matched the B-Met run total in the next inning. Travis Shaw led off the seventh with a walk, and later scored on an RBI single by Natoli.
Cesar Puello began the B-Met seventh with a solo home run off the scoreboard in right-centerfield. It was his team-leading seventh homer of the season. After an Allan Dykstra walk, Blake Forsythe blasted a two-run shot over the leftfield wall to cut the deficit to two. Lucas followed with a walk, and Wilfredo Tovar sent an RBI double down the right field line to make it an 8-7 game.
Shawn Teufel tossed a scoreless eighth inning to keep up the momentum, and the B-Met offensive charged continued in the bottom half. Josh Rodriguez led off with a walk, and moved to third on a single by Dykstra. With two outs, Darrell Ceciliani sent a bouncer up the middle that was snared by Bogaerts at shortstop. He tried to send a shovel pass to second base to force out Dykstra, but it was not in time and Rodriguez scored to tie the game.
B-Met closer Jeff Walters entered the ninth inning in an 8-8 game. Almanzar led off by hitting a high fly ball down the right field line. Puello sprinted over to make the catch, but it bounced off of his glove and he went tumbling over the fence. By the time Danny Muno got to the ball, Almanzar was standing on third base with a leadoff triple. One pitch later, Walters uncorked a wild pitch to give Portland a 9-8 lead.
Natoli later added to the lead with an RBI double making it a 10-8 advantage. Against Sea Dog closer Brock Huntzinger in the bottom of the ninth, Tovar got a rally started with a one-out double. After Muno flied out, Rodriguez hit an RBI double into right field to put the tying run at second base. The B-Mets stranded him there however, as Huntzinger got Puello to fly out on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.
The B-Mets (26-22) continue their series with the Sea Dogs (28-18) Saturday night at NYSEG Stadium. Logan Verrett takes the hill for Binghamton against Drake Britton for Portland.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)