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Syracuse Splits Sunday Doubleheader and Grabs Series Win over Worcester

April 14, 2024 - International League (IL)
Syracuse Mets News Release

Syracuse, NY - The Syracuse Mets split a Sunday afternoon doubleheader with the Worcester Red Sox, taking the first game, 10-5, before dropping the second game by an 8-4 final. The Mets took the six-game series over the WooSox, winning four of the games against their longtime division rival.

Early on in game one of the doubleheader, it didn't look great for Syracuse, as Worcester roared out to a big early lead. The Red Sox got to the Mets starter, Mike Vasil, early and often, plating five runs on eight hits. In the second, they scored three runs on five hits, which included a solo home run from Niko Kavadas. In the third, the WooSox scored two more times but on just one hit - two walks, an RBI double from Mark Contreras and a sacrifice fly from Jamie Westbrook (who also had an RBI hit in the second inning) scored the two tallies that made it an early 5-0 advantage for the WooSox.

Vasil, widely considered one of the best pitching prospects in the New York Mets minor-league system, has had an inauspicious start to his 2024 season. In three starts, he's allowed a combined 12 earned runs in nine innings on 15 hits. Vasil also has nine strikeouts combined in his first three starts this season.

Down big early, the Syracuse Mets refused to quit. The Mets rallied right back, scoring twice in the third on back-to-back big flies from Luke Ritter and Tomas Nido to make it a 5-2 game. It's already the third time this season that the Mets have home runs from consecutive batters. In the fourth, Syracuse got closer again when Trayce Thompson lifted a two-run homer over the left-field fence to make it a 5-4 game.

In the fifth, the Mets completed the comeback with a four-run flurry to surge out to an 8-5 lead. Mark Vientos walked to start the frame and then promptly raced home on a game-tying, RBI double from Rylan Bannon. The infielder had also homered in the prior two games for the Mets. After a groundout, Jose Iglesias brought home Bannon to make it 6-5 and then scored himself when Thompson smoked yet another two-run home run, this one a no-doubt shot that crashed into the batter's eye beyond the center-field fence. Thompson's two-homer game was the first multi-home run game of the season for the Syracuse Mets.

The Mets capped off the remarkable turnaround in game one of the doubleheader with yet another home run, this time a two-run blast from Ben Gamel that scored Luisangel Acuña (who had his third hit of the game earlier in the inning) that made it 10-5. Gamel now leads the team with four home runs early on in the 2024 campaign. Syracuse finished game one of the doubleheader with five home runs and 14 hits, both of which were season highs in a game for the Mets.

While the offense hummed, the bullpen kept the WooSox batters at bay. Dedniel Núñez, Nate Lavender, and Yacksel Ríos combined to work the final three and two-thirds innings of the game in scoreless fashion, holding Worcester to just three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Núñez impressed again, tossing one and two-thirds hitless and scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

Game two of the doubleheader did not go the way of the Syracuse Mets (8-6), as the Worcester Red Sox (5-9) roared out to a big early lead that they would not relinquish. The WooSox roughed up the Mets starter, Luis Moreno, tagging him for five earned runs in two and two-thirds innings. They also got to the Mets first reliever, Shintaro Fujinami, who allowed three earned runs in the third inning without recording an out. The frustrating part for Syracuse? Worcester managed just four hits off those two pitchers. Moreno and Fujinami combined to walk eight WooSox batters as part of their eight-run flurry in the first three innings of game two of the doubleheader.

The third inning encapsulated the frustrating second game of the doubleheader for Syracuse. They allowed six runs to Worcester on exactly two hits, as six walks doomed the Mets in the fateful frame. The WooSox sent 11 men to the plate in the six-run inning that ensured they would split the Sunday doubleheader.

To the credit of the Mets, they refused to quit. Syracuse scored the final four runs of the second game of the doubleheader before eventually falling in the ballgame, 8-4. Three of the four runs came via the home run when Rylan Bannon smoked a two-run shot in the fourth and Luke Ritter blasted a solo homer in the sixth. Ritter homered in each half of the doubleheader, while Bannon has hit home runs in three of the last four games. The Mets finished the doubleheader with a combined seven home runs in the two games.

After its week at home, Syracuse now hits the road next week for six games at the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. Game one of the six-game set is slated for 6:05 on Tuesday night, with right-hander Christian Scott expected to start for the Mets.

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