The Portland Sea Dogs erased a 2-0 deficit with a three-run fifth inning, but the Binghamton Mets answered with a large rally of their own. Mike Nickeas' two-run home blast capped a five-run inning, as the Mets came back to even the series with a 9-3 win at NYSEG Stadium.
For the third time in four games, the Mets drew first blood in the bottom of the first. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the night with a double, moved to third on a ground ball by Sean Ratliff, and scored when Nick Evans grounded into a double play. Nieuwenhuis continued his strong night at the plate in the the third, as he smacked a solo home run to right field.
In the fifth inning, the Sea Dogs came back, erasing their deficit, while taking their first lead of the game. Ryan Khoury led off the frame with a double, and scored when Chih-Hsien Chiang singled down the right field line. After a pair of outs and a walk, Yamaico Navarro continued his hot hitting, ripping a triple to deep center field. Navarro's triple scored Chiang and Nate Spears, putting the visitors on top.
Portland's lead didn't last long, as Binghamton's bats came alive in a big way in their half of the fifth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis started the rally with a double, and eventually came around to tie the game, when Anthony Rizzo made an error on Marshall Hubbard's ground ball. Joshua Satin followed with an RBI single, setting the table for Raul Reyes' two-run triple, as well as a two-run bomb by Mike Nickeas.
Nickeas' homer came on a 2-0 offering by Eammon Portice, who had just taken over for starter Jeremy Kehrt (1-5). Kehrt's outing lasted four and one-third innings, as he allowed seven runs (six earned), eight hits, and two walks, while striking out two.
Binghamton starter Josh Stinson (5-1) pitched five and one-third innings, allowing three runs, six hits, and two walks, while striking out four.
The Mets added one more run in the seventh, as they won by the final score of 9-3.
The Sea Dogs and Mets will play the rubber game of their five-game series on Sunday night at 6:35. Stephen Fife (4-2, 4.30) will make the start for Portland, while Binghamton turns to Eric Niesen (4-3, 2.96).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.