Syracuse (24-39, 57-80) got the early jump on Worcester (36-29, 75-65), scoring three times in the top of the second to take an early 3-0 lead. Both runs came via the long ball. First, it was Jose Peroza slugging a two-run home run to drive in Lorenzo Cedrola with one
Syracuse (24-39, 57-80) got the early jump on Worcester (36-29, 75-65), scoring three times in the top of the second to take an early 3-0 lead. Both runs came via the long ball. First, it was Jose Peroza slugging a two-run home run to drive in Lorenzo Cedrola with one out (Cedrola had doubled earlier in the inning) and make it a 2-0 game. The home run for Peroza was all the more impressive when you consider the fact that it was his first-ever Triple-A hit in his inaugural Triple-A plate appearance. Then, two batters later, Jaylen Palmer smacked a two-out solo shot to make it a 3-0 game. It was the third Triple-A home run for Palmer, who was called up from Double-A at the end of August.
The Mets tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the sixth to make it a 5-0 game. After Peroza singled to reach base with one out, Matt O’Neill advanced to second and Peroza sprinted to third on a groundball back to the pitcher that was thrown away up the first-base line. That was followed by a Palmer walk to load the bases, a Wyatt Young bases-loaded walk to drive in one run and an RBI fielder’s choice from Brandon McIlwain to drive in the second run. Young had an RBI via a bases-loaded walk in Wednesday night’s game.
Syracuse’s starting pitcher didn’t need much help on Thursday night. Returning home to the greater Boston area, Mike Vasil wowed the dozens of family and friends in attendance all night long. He began his start with six scintillating scoreless innings, allowing just five total baserunners with two hits while racking up 10 strikeouts. It was a new Triple-A career-high for strikeouts in a start for Vasil, who struck out eight batters in the first four innings alone. He did not allow a hit in a 12-batter stretch from the middle of the second through the end of the fifth inning.
In the seventh, the WooSox finally put a little pressure on the Mets. Entering the bottom of the seventh inning down 5-0, the first two batters reached base off Vasil when Niko Kavadas walked and Christian Koss was hit by a pitch. That prompted Vasil’s removal from the game and Tyler Thomas’ entrance out of the bullpen. Thomas struck out Bradley Zimmer, allowed Corey Rosier to single and David Hamilton to loft a sacrifice fly deep enough into left field to score Kavadas and make it a 5-1 game. Then, consecutive walks to Nick Sogard and Enmanuel Valdez scored another run, made it 5-2 and forced the Mets to go back to the bullpen with the bases loaded and two outs. Dedniel Núñez was summoned and got the job done, striking out Bobby Dalbec to leave the bases loaded and ensure the Mets would remain in front 5-2 entering the final two innings.
The Mets put the game away in the top of the eighth, scoring three times to up the lead to a six-run advantage at 8-2. Seven batters came to the plate in the fateful frame, highlighted by an RBI double from McIlwain and an RBI single from Daniel Palka. McIlwain finished the contest with three hits and two runs driven in, while Palka continued his hot hitting from Wednesday night’s game when he had four hits.
Entering the bottom of the ninth up 8-2, the Mets looked like they would breeze to the finish line. They brought Núñez back out after a scoreless eighth to seal the deal, but Worcester wouldn’t go quietly. First, Zimmer and Rosier reached via a single and walk to start the frame, followed by a David Hamilton single to score Zimmer and make it 8-3. After a Sogard groundout, Enmanuel Valdez grounded out to plate Rosier and make it 8-4. Dalbec then strode to the plate and smacked a single of his own, allowing Hamilton to prance home and make it an 8-5 game. All of a sudden, the WooSox were one batter away from sending the potential tying run to the plate. However, there would be no more drama after that. Núñez induced a game-ending groundout to ensure that the Mets would go back to the hotel as 8-5 winners at Polar Park.
Syracuse hits the road for its final trip away from home during the 2023 season. They’ll be in Worcester, Massachusetts this whole week, taking on the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, the Worcester Red Sox. The fourth game of the series is slated for a 6:45 start on Friday evening, with Peyton Battenfield scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Brian Van Belle for the WooSox.