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Vasil Shines as Syracuse and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Split Thursday Night Doubleheader

May 23, 2024 - International League (IL)
Syracuse Mets News Release

Syracuse Mets' Mark Vientos on the mound
Syracuse Mets' Mark Vientos on the mound
(Syracuse Mets, Credit: Kylie Richelle)

Moosic, PA - The Syracuse Mets earned a doubleheader split over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursday evening, losing the first game, 3-2, before responding with a 4-2 win in the second game. The Mets remain 1.5 games back of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the standings after Thursday's action. The RailRiders entered the day in first place in the International League.

Syracuse scored 22 combined runs in the first two games of the series, and the Mets picked up right where they left off in the top of the first in game one of the doubleheader. On the first pitch of Baron Stuart's Triple-A debut for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Luisangel Acuña laced a double to the center-field wall and ran all the way to third on a fielding error out in the outfield. José Iglesias then singled in Acuña with a two-strike RBI single, his sixth run driven in of the week up until that point, as Syracuse took a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, after a Rylan Bannon walk and a fielding error moved Iglesias to third and Bannon to second with one out, Jiman Choi brought home Bannon with an RBI groundout to make it a 2-0 game. The Mets scored at least one run in the first inning in each of the first three games of this week's series.

That set the stage for Blade Tidwell's Triple-A debut, and the highly-regarded right-hander did not disappoint. Tidwell allowed just one run in his first five innings of work, allowing two hits with three strikeouts. Tidwell entered the 2024 season as the top pitching prospect in the Mets minor-league system not named Christian Scott. The right-hander did not allow a hit to the first 12 batters that he faced.

However, when Tidwell came back out for the sixth with the Mets still in front, 2-1, the game began to rapidly change. After the first two batters went down in order, an infield single from Taylor Trammell kept the inning alive. Trammell was promptly lifted for a speedy pinch-runner, Brandon Lockridge, and Lockridge sped all the way to third on a wild pitch from Tidwell. A walk to Luis Torrens plus a stolen base suddenly had runners on second and third with two outs in a 2-1 game. Then, an infield single from José Rojas plated Lockridge to knot the game back up, 2-2. That would close the line on Tidwell, who in his anticipated Triple-A debut allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits in five and two-thirds innings with four walks and three strikeouts.

On the other side of the coin, Baron Stuart's Triple-A debut for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was remarkable considering the circumstances. Before Thursday, the right-hander from Florida had never pitched above the High-A level in the Minors. In his debut with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Stuart tossed seven innings and allowed just one earned run on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Stuart allowed just one hit after the first inning as 21 of the final 22 Mets batters who came to the plate did not get a hit.

In the bottom of the seventh (the last scheduled half-inning as part of a doubleheader), the RailRiders completed the comeback. With Danny Young on the mound for the Mets, Greg Allen walked to start the frame, followed by a Caleb Durbin double and an Oswald Peraza intentional walk to load up the bases with nobody out. T.J Rumfield came to the plate and ended the game, smashing a sharp single into shallow left field to score Allen and give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the 3-2 win. It was the second straight walk-off win for the RailRiders against the Mets as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also walked-off winners in a 12-10 final on Wednesday afternoon.

In game two of Thursday night's doubleheader, Syracuse (29-18) yet again pounced in the top of the first when Luke Ritter hit a two-out, two-run homer to surge the Mets out to a 2-0 lead. It was a sweet, bounce back swing for Ritter, who had struck out twice and grounded into three double plays in the prior two games. Syracuse has also now scored first in each of the first four games in this week's series.

In the second and fourth innings, the Mets tacked on a pair of runs via a Mike Brosseau solo home run and an RBI single from Carlos Cortes. That gave Mike Vasil plenty of run support, and the big right-hander from Boston delivered. The Virginia alum allowed just two runs on three hits in five and one-third innings pitched, walking one and striking out six. It was Vasil's best start of the season and return to a place where he had former glory. Vasil took a no-hitter into the ninth in a game at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season on August 8th.

From there, the bullpen slammed the door shut. Eric Orze got the final five outs of the game, striking out four of the six batters that he faced to earn the save. Orze now has 31 strikeouts in 23 total innings of work this season. It was also Orze's second save in as many opportunities for the Syracuse Mets in 2024.

Syracuse is on the road all week for a pivotal series at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, who entered the week 1.5 games up on the Mets at the top of the International League standings. The fifth game of the seven-game series is scheduled for a first pitch at 6:35 p.m. on Friday. Left-hander David Peterson is expected to make his second MLB rehab start for Syracuse.

Images from this story

Syracuse Mets' Mark Vientos on the mound
Syracuse Mets' Mark Vientos on the mound

(Kylie Richelle)

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