Bats Fall Short in Slugfest
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Louisville Bats (37-57) fell to the Syracuse Chiefs (33-59) Monday night, 11-8, in the opener of a three-game series at Louisville Slugger Field.
Flashing the power early, the Chiefs' Clint Robinson gave his squad an early lead after his two-run shot over the wall in right center field. The 409-foot blast put Louisville in a 2-0 hole after the top half of the first.
Catcher Devin Mesoraco also showed off his power on the first pitch of his at-bat in the bottom of the frame. The first three batters of the inning reached with singles to lead off the inning allowing the major league rehabber to put the Bats ahead, 4-2, with a towering grand slam to left field.
Louisville scored a fifth run in the inning courtesy of a Robert Stephenson single through the right side that plated Dixon. The pitcher's first career hit in a Bats' uniform put Louisville on top, 5-2, after the first inning of play.
Maintaining the lead over the next two innings, a leadoff homerun in the top of the third cut the Chiefs' deficit to a pair of runs. The following two Syracuse batters would reach and come around to score on a two-run single through the left side. Emmanuel Buriss' two-RBI base knock tied the contest at five runs each after the top of the fourth inning.
Consecutive singles followed by a fielder's choice loaded the bases for Syracuse in the top of the seventh. Irving Falu and Caleb Ramsey both singled to plate three runs combined, giving the Chiefs their first lead of the contest after six and a half innings, 8-5.
Despite the first two batters of the inning striking out, the Bats managed to tie the ball game up in the bottom half after the team's second long ball of the evening. Darnell Sweeney and Phillip Ervin recorded two-out singles to set up the game-tying home run to right field by Sebastian Elizade. The right fielder's third home run of the year tied the game at eight heading into the eighth inning.
Syracuse continued the trend of two out hitting with four straight batters reaching base with two down in the top of the ninth. Consecutive singles with two runners on base plated three runs for the Chiefs in the frame to secure an 11-8 lead. Louisville failed to answer in their half of the ninth.
Bats' starting right-hander Stephenson lasted six innings allowing eight hits and five runs, while also striking out eight batters. Righty Kevin Shackelford took the loss moving to 3-1 on the season after surrendering the three runs in the top of the ninth. Left-hander Sammy Solis improved to 1-1 after picking up the win, while right-hander Wander Suero earned his fourth save.
Looking to avoid the series loss, Louisville will send left hander Cody Reed (2-5, 3.78 ERA) to the mound Tuesday with a scheduled first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Righty Jacob Turner (0-1, 6.50 ERA) will get the start for Syracuse.
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