RICHMOND, VA - Randy Fontanez surrendered three runs in the ninth inning and the Binghamton Mets blew their third save in as many chances in a 7-6 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Saturday night at The Diamond. Blake Miller's walk-off single capped a furious Squirrels rally and sealed Binghamton's fourth consecutive defeat.
After overcoming a three-run deficit with a five-run eighth inning, Binghamton handed a two-run lead to Fontanez in the ninth. They righty walked pinch-hitter Mario Lisson and allowed a single to Kelby Tomlinson. In an attempt to push the runners up, Elliott Blair bunted to the mound. Fontanez pounced on the roller, but his throw to third ticked off Dustin Lawley's glove and rolled into left, allowing Lisson to score.
With runners at second and third, Fontanez bounced a wild pitch to Blake Miller, bringing in the tying run. Miller put a cap on the comeback by lining a 3-1 pitch into the left-field corner, plating Blair with the game-winning run.
Richmond's comeback spoiled a monster inning by the B-Mets in the eighth. Trailing 4-1, Binghamton compiled their comeback against the Squirrels bullpen. Ryan Bradley started the frame, but failed to record an out. The B-Mets greeted him with three consecutive singles to load the bases. The lefty ended his night and forced in a run by plunking pinch-hitter Darrell Cecilaini, cutting Richmond's lead to two.
Travis Taijeron dropped an 0-2 pitch from new reliever Jose Casilla into left, tying the game with a two-run single. Dustin Lawley followed by hammering the first pitch he saw into left, plating Ceciliani with the go-ahead run. Juan Centeno capped the inning with a run-producing double play. Binghamton's five-run frame looked to be enough until Richmond's rally in the ninth.
For the second straight night, the B-Mets put up an early run. Taijeron started the second inning by ripping a first-pitch double into the left-field alley and Dustin Lawley followed by threading a single into left. Centeno chopped into a double play, plating Taijeron with the first run of the game.
After threatening in the first three innings, Richmond broke through in the fourth against Rainy Lara. Angel Villalona opened the frame by ling a triple to the right-field alley. Tyler LaTorre brought him home two batters later by skying a sacrifice fly to center field.
Skyler Stromsmoe and Snodgrass kept the inning alive with consecutive two-out singles. Kelby Tomlinson put Richmond ahead by reaching on a run-producing infield single to second base. Snodgrass moved to third when TJ Rivera's toss to first sailed past Jayce Boyd. With Elliot Blair at the plate, Tomlinson was picked off first, but stayed in a rundown long enough for Snodgrass to score the third run of the inning.
Richmond added to their lead with power in the fifth. Blake Miller ripped a triple into the left-field alley and came home when Devin Harris pulled a double inside the third-base bag, giving the Squirrels a 4-1 advantage.
Snodgrass did not face much of an offensive threat after allowing a run in the second. The lefty faced just two over the minimum while allowing a pair of singles over his final four scoreless innings.
Fontanez (0-1) failed to record an out in his first blown save of the season. Casilla (5-1) was the benefactor of Richmond's rally despite suffering his second blown save. Hansel Robles struck out three over two perfect innings and was in line for the win before the Squirrels' rally.
The B-Mets (83-57) continue their final series of the regular season on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. RHP Gabriel Ynoa gets the nod against LHP Ty Blach. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show, starting at 1:20 PM, can be heard on News Radio 1290 WNBF and on the Binghamton Mets Baseball Network via the TuneIn App.
POSTGAME NOTES: TJ Rivera extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth inning…Travis Taijeron went 3-for-4 with two runs scored…it was Binghamton's fourth walk-off loss of the season
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.