2024 Program - Issue 9

A Run to Remember

By: Tim Heiman

Burgamy walked and Boyd was hit by a pitch with two outs, loading the bases for Ceciliani. The hobbling outfielder greeted reliever Dayan Diaz by belting a bas- es-clearing, three-run double off the Maine Monster in left field. Taijeron followed with an RBI single to right, giving Binghamton an 8-1 advantage. B-Mets starter Gabriel Ynoa lasted until the sixth before Robles took over and carried the game into the ninth. Closer Satterwhite worked a shutout ninth inning, inducing Keury De La Cruz to bounce out to short to punch Binghamton’s ticket to the Eastern League Championship Series. With their backs against the wall, the B-Mets had fought back and survived. In- stead of heading home, the B-Mets would be heading to Richmond, Virginia to take on the Flying Squirrels. But first, it was time to celebrate. After the final out, Satterwhite leaped into his catcher Xorge Carrillo’s arms. The rest of the B-Mets joined them near the pitch- er’s mound. In a mixed state of euphoria and relief, the B-Mets made their way to the clubhouse to spray champagne and spill light beer. Although the bubbly made some eyes burn and the beer may have been a little warm, it had all never tasted so good to a B-Mets team heading to the championship series. Before the champagne could be washed out of their jerseys, the B-Mets focus shifted to their next opponent, the West- ern Division champion Richmond Flying Squirrels. The team had a twelve-hour bus ride from Maine to Virginia to collect their thoughts. 650 miles later, the Binghamton Mets arrived in Richmond. The Eastern Division champions were welcomed to the South by the sun rise and a much-needed day off. Keeping It Up Down South Just a week removed from an embar- rassing regular season-closing four-game sweep at the hands of the Squirrels, the B-Mets were back at The Diamond seeking revenge. The Squirrels claimed the Western Division by beating the Akron RubberDucks in four games in a pitching-dominated series. The two squads combined to hit a measly .196 and scratch out a combined 18 runs. Binghamton’s starter in Game 1, Tyler Pill,

had fired 15 scoreless innings against the Squirrels in the regular season and picked up where he left off in the postseason, posting two blank frames. The B-Mets supported Pill with an RBI sin- gle by Nimmo in the second and two runs in the fifth, highlighted by a run-producing single by Ceciliani. The Squirrels scratched out single tallies in the third and fifth, and the one-run game sailed into the seventh where the B-Mets bullpen took over. Right-hander Paul Sewald, who made just three Double-A appearances in the regular season, sand- wiched a pop out with two walks before ceding to Chase Huchingson. The left- hander added more fuel the fire by issuing a free pass to load the bases for pinch-hit- ter Mitch Delfino. With just one out and the tying run just 90-feet away, Huchingson induced Delfino to dribble a grounder to second. Rivera scooped up the roller, stepped on the base and fired to first to complete a game-sav- ing, inning-ending double play Robles and Satterwhite solidified the win, combining for two scoreless innings of relief. As opposed to their stumble in Game 2 against the Sea Dogs, the B-Mets did not let up in their second game against the Squirrels. For a team that had homered just twice in the previous 17 games, the B-Mets picked the right time to find their power stroke in the Eastern League Championship Series. With one aboard in the second, Xorge Carrillo, the owner of just two home runs in the regular season, belted a two-run shot over the left-field wall, putting Binghamton on top. After a gritty, hard-nosed performance in the Division Series, Darrell Ceciliani and his body finally reached the breaking point. The B-Mets outfielder ceded to his injury after striking out in the first inning of Game 2. His replacement, Kyle Johnson, stepped in and stepped up immediately producing two sparkling catches and throwing out one runner from left field. The Squirrels scratched out a run in the second against Greg Peavey, but fell short of a big inning by leaving two men on base. It would prove to be the last time the Squirrels would send more than three to the plate in an inning against Peavey. The

righty settled down and got some help from his defense in facing the minimum over his final five innings. Despite their sparkling defense and domi- nant pitching, the B-Mets still clung to just a one-run lead entering the eighth. Squirrels reliever Edwin Quirarte issued a free pass to Brandon Nimmo and intention- ally walked Brian Burgamy to face Travis Taijeron with two outs. The move back- fired as the B-Mets outfielder threaded a game-sealing three-run homer inside the left-field foul pole. With a four-run cushion, the B-Mets bull- pen put a bow on Game 2. The most memorable, and arguably most successful, road trip in franchise history was complete. After six days, five games and 1,500 miles, the B-Mets headed back to the Southern Tier with a 2-0 series advantage. Just five days removed from having their backs against the wall, the B-Mets need one win to secure their first Eastern League title since 1994.

One Night in September It is Friday, September 12th.

It is a day that already has significance to the B-Mets franchise. On September 12, 1994, left-hander Bill Pulsipher tossed a no-hitter against the Harrisburg Senators in Game 2 of the Eastern League Champion- ship Series, the first of three straight wins the B-Mets collected to earn their second league title. Fast forward twenty years and the Bing- hamton Mets have sold 5,904 tickets and NYSEG Stadium is jam-packed as left- hander Steven Matz strolls to the mound for what will become the game of his life. This is not a new situation for the Long Island native. Last September he toed the rubber for the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats in the championship-clinching game. Nearly a year ago to the day of this start for the B-Mets, Matz was striking out nine Hagerstown Suns over 5-2/3 scoreless innings, guiding Savannah to the South Atlantic League championship. Tonight his opponent is Richmond, a team he baffled in his last start a week earlier to the tune of a season-high ten strikeouts. As the largest crowd of the season at NY- SEG Stadium settles into their seats, Matz sets the tone with a scoreless first, issuing

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