RICHMOND, VA - The Binghamton Mets collected five hits in their first eight at-bats, but mustered just two over the final seven innings in a 2-1 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Friday night at The Diamond. Steven Matz matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts in a 16-strikeout effort for the B-Mets pitching staff. The loss, coupled with the Portland Sea Dogs' win over the Harrisburg Senators, secured a second-place finish for the B-Mets in the Eastern Division.
Binghamton jumped on the board in a flash in the first against Adalberto Mejia. After Kyle Johnson lined the second pitch of the game into right-center for a double and TJ Rivera followed with a first-pitch single, Brian Burgamy laced an RBI single into center. Mejia coaxed a double play out of Jayce Boyd to limit the damage to one run.
The Squirrels struck back against Matz in the first. Skyler Stromsmoe led off the inning with a single, swiped second base and scored when Mario Lisson zipped an RBI double down the right-field line. Matz stranded Lisson on second with consecutive strikeouts and added two more strikeouts in the second.
Lisson struck again to give the Squirrels the lead in the third, yanking a 2-2 pitch with two outs inside the third-base bag and down the left-field line, plating Stromsmoe from second with the go-ahead run. Lisson's hit capped an eight-pitch battle against Matz.
Mejia nearly coughed up the lead in the fourth. After surrendering a leadoff single to Boyd, the southpaw issued consecutive two-out walks to load the bases for Matz. The B-Mets starter shot a line drive to first, but was robbed of a hit by Angel Villalona who leaped and snared the drive to end the threat.
Matz shook off Lisson's single and capped his night with two scoreless innings. The lefty struck out two in the fourth and a two more in the fifth, capping his night by fanning Elliott Blair.
Reliever Edwin Quirarte posted a perfect seventh inning and before handing off to Steven Okert with two outs in the eighth. The southpaw induced Brandon Nimmo to fly out to right, leaving Rivera on second base and preserving Richmond's one-run lead. Hunter Strickland struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his eleventh save of the season.
Mejia (7-9) allowed one run on six hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked three in the win. Matz (6-5) surrendered two runs on five hits over five innings in the defeat.
The B-Mets (83-56) continue their final series of the regular season on Saturday at 6:05 PM. RHP Rainy Lara takes the mound against LHP Jack Snodgrass. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show, starting at 5:50 PM, can be heard on News Radio 1290 WNBF and on the Binghamton Mets Baseball Network via the TuneIn App.
POSTGAME NOTES: Brian Burgamy ended a stretch of nine straights games without an RBI with his single in the first inning…Steven Matz last struck out 10 batters as a Savannah Sand Gnat on June 14, 2013 against the Greenville Drive (5.1 IP)…the loss snapped Binghamton's six-game winning streak against the Squirrels…the B-Mets will host games one and two of the Eastern Division Championship Series
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