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Vientos and Scott Shine Again as Syracuse Handles Charlotte, 9-2, in Road Trip Opener

April 16, 2024 - International League (IL)
Syracuse Mets News Release

Mark Vientos at bat for the Syracuse Mets
Mark Vientos at bat for the Syracuse Mets
(Syracuse Mets, Credit: Rick Nelson)

Charlotte, NC - The Syracuse Mets began their weeklong road trip to Charlotte in emphatic fashion, scoring the final nine runs of the game in a 9-2 win over the Charlotte Knights on a warm Tuesday night in the Queen City. The Mets have now won four of their first six road games during the 2024 season.

Christian Scott wowed Syracuse (9-6) fans in his first two Triple-A starts, striking out a combined 19 batters in nine innings. In his third Triple-A start on Tuesday night, the top pitching prospect in the New York Mets minor-league system was greeted rudely early on by the home team. Charlotte (5-11) got to Scott quickly in the bottom of the first, hitting two solo home runs among the first four batters of the game to race out to a 2-0 lead. Danny Mendick launched a solo shot two batters in, followed by an Oscar Colás home run two batters later to make it a 2-0 game in a flash in the first. Mendick is a very familiar name to Syracuse Mets fans, having played 91 games for the Mets during the 2023 season.

From there, Scott flipped the switch yet again. The 24-year-old got out of the first inning and then settled into a familiar groove, retiring 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. Scott did not allow a hit after the first inning, finishing his start with seven strikeouts and just two walks. The former Florida Gator also worked into the sixth inning for the first time in Triple-A, retiring one batter before being removed from the game. Scott's final line was three hits and two earned runs in five and one-thirds innings, walking two, and striking out seven.

In the third, the Mets offense got one back. A leadoff double from José Iglesias put a runner in scoring position with nobody out, moving to third on a Luke Ritter flyout. A Joe Hudson soft groundout to third then scored Iglesias and slashed the Syracuse deficit in half, 2-1.

In the top of the sixth, Charlotte still led 2-1 and sent their starting pitcher Brad Keller back out to the mound. It proved to be a bad decision as the first four batters reached against Keller, allowing the Mets to tie the game. Yolmer Sánchez singled, moved to second on a Ben Gamel walk ,and scored on a Mark Vientos single into center field. Rylan Bannon then walked to load the bases, and Jiman Choi lofted a fly ball deep enough into left field to score Gamel and hand Syracuse a lead they would never relinquish. Trayce Thompson later doubled in the seventh to score Vientos and cap off the three-run flurry that turned it into a 4-2 Syracuse lead.

Entering the seventh up 4-2, the Mets put the game away with a four-run blitz. The frame was highlighted by one fateful swing. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Vientos laced a drive to right-center field that rolled all the way to the wall, clearing the bases with his three-run triple for a 7-2 advantage. Vientos finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with four runs driven in and two runs scored. Choi added an RBI single later in the seventh inning and capped off the night's scoring with yet another RBI single in the ninth to make it a 9-2 ballgame. Choi reached base four times in Tuesday night's game when you tack on his two walks in his first two plate appearances of the game.

While the Syracuse offense hummed, its bullpen closed the door after yet another scintillating start from Christian Scott. Cole Sulser and Tyler Jay combined to toss the final three and two-thirds innings of the game in scoreless fashion, allowing just two hits while walking none and striking out four. Sulser and Jay are both back in Triple-A fresh off multiple appearances with the New York Mets over the last couple of weeks.

Syracuse is on the road all week at the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. Game two of the six-game set is slated for 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday with right-hander Dom Hamel expected to start the game for the Mets.

Images from this story

Mark Vientos at bat for the Syracuse Mets
Mark Vientos at bat for the Syracuse Mets

(Rick Nelson)

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