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Syracuse Mets earn walk-off win over SWB RailRiders in extras

The Syracuse Mets got their first win of the 2022 season with a 4-3 walk-off victory against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in ten innings on Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium.

The game was tied, 3-3, going to the tenth inning. In the top of the tenth, Oswaldo Cabrera started as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s free runner at second base. Ronald Guzmán led off with a walk to put runners at first and second base. Mets reliever Anthony Vizcaya proceeded to get a strikeout and two groundouts to keep the RailRiders off the board.

The Mets delivered the winning punch in the bottom of the tenth. Quinn Brodey started the frame as Syracuse’s free runner at second. Brodey moved to third on a Nick Meyer sacrifice bunt. After a Khalil Lee strikeout, Travis Blankenhorn came to the plate for Syracuse. Blankenhorn lofted a fly ball to shallow left field that RailRiders left fielder Ryan LaMarre misplayed as the ball tipped off his glove and fell to the ground, allowing Brodey to score for a 4-3 walk-off win.

Syracuse (1-4) jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first. With the bags clean and one out, Travis Blankenhorn curled a deep drive around the right-field foul pole, clearing the wall as a fair ball to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

The home team added another run in the bottom of the second inning to add to their advantage and make it 2-0. Mark Vientos began the frame with a walk, moved to third on a Patrick Mazeika single, and then scored when Matt Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (4-1) tied the game with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Back-to-back RBI singles from Tim Locastro and José Peraza scored Miguel Andujar and Greg Bird respectively, prompting the removal of Syracuse starting pitcher Connor Grey after the inning. Despite the struggles in the fourth, the right-hander who grew up just outside of Jamestown, New York still had an encouraging final line. Grey allowed just the two runs in four innings of work with three strikeouts.

The Mets regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Meyer singled with two outs, followed by a Khalil Lee walk that put runners on first and second. Then, Syracuse pulled off a double steal, putting Meyer and Lee both in scoring position. Finally, a passed ball allowed Meyer to race home and put the Mets in front, 3-2.

The Syracuse bullpen put together a solid string of work. Rob Zastryzny, Andrew Mitchell, and Colin Holderman didn’t allow an earned run in five innings of work. Mitchell was particularly impressive. The left-hander from Louisiana tossed two and two-thirds scoreless innings, coupling another impressive outing earlier in the week. Mitchell hurled two clean frames on Wednesday night, striking out three RailRiders in the process.

Despite the strong effort from the Syracuse bullpen, in the top of the ninth, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre extended the game. With one out, José Peraza reached on an error,running all the way to second base on a dropped fly ball in shallow right field. After a groundout by Estevan Florial put the RailRiders one out away from defeat, Oswald Peraza kept the game going. The second-best prospect in the Yankees minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline, smacked a single into right field, scoring José Peraza and tying the game in the process. Oswald Peraza had a banner night, going 4-for-5, including a double.

Syracuse and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre conclude their six-game series on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Thomas Szapucki is scheduled to throw for the Mets opposite RailRiders left-hander Matt Krook. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.