Sports stats

 Syracuse Mets

Syracuse Falls to Charlotte in Walk-off Fashion on Thursday Night, 5-4

April 18, 2024 - International League (IL)
Syracuse Mets News Release

Charlotte, NC - The Syracuse Mets had their hearts broken on Thursday night. The Charlotte Knights scored the final three runs in the game, including the last one in the bottom of the ninth as the Knights walked off 5-4 winners over the Mets on a warm mid-April evening in the Queen City. The Knights now lead the six-game series by a two games to one count.

In Wednesday's loss, Syracuse (9-8) was haunted by missed opportunities as the Mets left a season-high 13 runners on base. Early in Thursday's game, they immediately began rectifying that mistake. In the first, Ben Gamel reached via a one-out walk followed by a Mark Vientos single to put two runners on base with one out. A wild pitch moved each runner up 90 feet, and the Gamel pranced home on an RBI groundout from Rylan Bannon to put the Mets in front 1-0 right away.

In the bottom of the second, Charlotte (7-11) came back to tie the game. However, the Mets averted total disaster. Three straight walks from Joey Lucchesi loaded up the bases with nobody out, however he forced consecutive groundballs that produced a double play and another groundout to limit the damage. The Knights did score on the double play to knot the game at one.

From there, the game started to follow a familiar pattern. Syracuse would go ahead, and then Charlotte would punch back. In the top of the fourth, the Mets scored twice to go in front 3-1. A Rylan Bannon walk followed by a Trayce Thompson double put runners on second and third with nobody out, and then José Iglesias brought home Bannon with an RBI groundout. The next batter, Luke Ritter, plopped a single down in shallow right field to plate Thompson and hand the Mets their largest lead of the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Knights got a run back of their own when Danny Mendick singled, moved to second on another single, moved to third on a throwing error by Lucchesi on a potential pickoff and then scored on an RBI groundout from Rafael Ortega.

In the fifth, the Mets extended the lead back to two when Vientos slammed a double to left field that scored Gamel, who had singled earlier in the inning. Vientos now has eight hits and six runs driven in over the first three games this series.

From there, the Knights battled back to knot it up. In the sixth, Mendick hit yet another home run, his third solo homer in as many days to make it a 4-3 game. In the seventh, Charlotte made it a brand-new ballgame. Ortega reached on an error to start the inning, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a sharp Wilmer Difo single into center field. Both Mendick and Ortega spent parts of the 2023 season playing with the Syracuse Mets.

It remained a 4-4 game until the bottom of the ninth, when the Knights completed their comeback. It all happened in the blink of an eye. Ortega walked to lead off the frame. Then on the first pitch of his at-bat, Carlos Pérez doubled into the left-field corner, allowing Ortega to score all the way from first and end the game. Charlotte has now won on back-to-back days, having won Wednesday's game, 4-2. It's a run of rotten luck for the Mets after early success this season in close games. Syracuse won its first five games this season decided by two runs or less.

Syracuse is on the road all week at the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. Game four of the six-game set is slated for 7:04 on Friday evening.

• Discuss this story on the International League message board...

International League Stories from April 18, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central