Extra-Innings Struggles Continue as Mets Fall to Bucs

Carlos Hernandez pitched five innings of three-run, two earned run, baseball in his final start of the season

By Eric Cain | Photo by: Allen Greene / Kingsport Mets | August 28, 2017 10:45 PM


BRISTOL, Va.- A walk-off single from Paul Brands in the bottom of the 10th inning sent Kingsport packing Monday night as the Pirates took the series by winning the final two games, including Game 3's 10-inning 6-5 victory over the Mets at Boyce Cox Field.

After trading leads back and forth, the Pirates (16-47) walked it off in the tenth when Brands drilled a stinger up the middle. Matt Dirio scooted around form second base to score the winning run off Edwin German as the dogpile commenced beyond the second base bag.

Kingsport (28-34) fell to 1-7 in extra-inning games this season and 6-3 against Bristol in the season-series. The Mets conclude the 2017 season at Home beginning Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. with the first of a three-game series against the Elizabethton Twins.   

Despite the loss, Kingsport welcomed a new player Monday night, Mets 2017 Second-Round selection out of the First-Year Player Draft, Mark Vientos. The 17-year-old, who arrived just a couple of hours before first pitch, was inserted into third in the lineup card and played short stop on the night. Vientos finished the day 2-for-4 at the dish with a walk and a run scored in the first inning.

Kingsport jumped out first as the newest K-Met singled with two outs to ignite the two-run rally. Juan Uriate and Anthony Dirocie followed promptly with consecutive-RBI doubles as the Mets plated two in the first for an early 2-0 lead.

The lead was cut in half at 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning when the Pirates scored an unearned run off a fielder's choice form Ben Bengston. With the bases loaded and only one out, a groundball hit off the bat of Bengston chased Vientos at short stop to his right. HE fielded, flipped to second for one out, but the return throw from second baseman Angel Manzanarez was a tad late as the inning continued with runners at the corners.

Following the run-scoring inning for the home team in the third, Kingsport gained it back it the top of fourth when Grabiel Jimenez doubled down the left field line. Raphael Gladu, who was on the run during the pitch, scored all the way from first base as Jimenez's 10th RBI of the season was on a perfectly executed hit-and-run to hand the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Things were knotted up in the bottom of the fifth inning when Bengston drove in his third run of the day. It was a towering, two-run home run over the right field wall off K-Mets starter, Carlos Hernandez. The home run was the fourth of the season for the third baseman as the drive brought in Melvin Jimenez to tie the game at 3-3 after five innings.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Kingsport reliever Ryan Selmer loaded the bases with no outs. Bristol's Kyle Watson delivered with a deep fly out to right-center field to bring in the go-ahead run on the sacrifice fly. A defensive 4-6-3 double play enabled the Mets to escape further trouble in the inning as the Pirates settled for the one run to lead 4-3 after seven innings.

Like clockwork, Kingsport tied the ballgame once again at 4-4 in the top of the eighth when Vientos singled up the middle with Manzanarez at second base. The base runner made his way to third and then was waved around to score once the center fielder, Yondry Contreras bobbled the ball in the exchange from glove to hand. The error allowed the game to be tied once again as the Mets and Pirates were coming down to the wire.  

After a scoreless ninth, Kingsport and Bristol was set to compete in their second extra-inning game of the season as the score remained tied at four runs apiece.

The Mets struck first in the top of the 10th frame when Moreno scored from first on a wild pitch, but the Bucs countered with the two runs in the bottom of the frame that ended with the walkoff single from Paul Brands.

After 10 complete innings of play, the final score read in favor of the home team, 6-5.

German (1-1) took home the loss after surrendering the tying and winning runs in the 10th while not surrendering an out. Billy Oxford and Ryan Selmer combined to pist 3 1/3 innings of relief prior to the extra innings while Hernandez tossed a solid 5 2/3 innings in the start with two earned runs off five hits and four strikeouts.

Argenis Romano (1-6) picked up the victory after pitching the final five innings of relief in the ballgame. The righty surrendered only one earned run off three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Hunter Stratton, a local product from Sullivan County, started the game for Bristol and left after five innings of three-run baseball-three strikeouts off five hits.

The K-Mets saw multi-hit days from the first three batters in the lineup card-Manzanarez, Moreno and Vientos-while Uriarte, Dirocie and Jimenez all drove in a run off nine total team hits. Bristol, who scored six runs off 10 hits Monday evening, witnessed two hits apiece form Contreras and Bengston while the third baseman drove in three of the club's six runs on the evening.

The Mets will return home for the final regular season homestand against the Elizabethton Twins beginning Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Joe Cavallaro will get the nod on the mound for the K-Mets as coverage of the game can be found on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network beginning with the Braeden's Barbeque Pregame Show at 6:15 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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