Posted by Mack Ade at 5:00 AM
The St. Lucie Mets shocked the Charlotte Stone Crabs with an unconventional 4-3 walkoff win at Tradition Field.
Stone Crabs third baseman Patrick Leonard booted a routine ground ball that would have ended the game. The ball went between Leonard’s legs and died in left field, allowing Gilbert Gomez to score from third to tie the game and Maikis De La Cruz to score from second to win it for the Mets.
It was quite a turnaround for Leonard and the Stone Crabs. Leonard’s ground ball to Gavin Cecchini with two outs in the top of the ninth bounced over Cecchini’s head for an error and brought in a run put the Stone Crabs up 3-2.
However, the Mets were able to put that miscue behind them and rally in their half of the ninth. Colton Reavis issued a one-out walk to Gomez. Gomez went to second on a wild pitch. De La Cruz followed with a bloop hit to right field but Gomez had to hold at second.
Cecchini struck out for the second out, but Reavis’ wild strike three got away from catcher Maxx Tissenbaum and Gomez went to third while De La Cruz scooted up to second.
That brought up L.J. Mazzilli, who earlier in the game allowed a ball to go between his legs with two outs at second. That error brought in a run that tied the game 2-2 in the sixth.
Mazzilli fell behind 0-2 and seemingly ended the game when he grounded to third, but Leonard couldn’t handle it and the Mets were gifted the 4-3 walkoff win.
Juilan Hilario got the win despite walking three and giving up the unearned run in the ninth. It was his first win of the season.
Reavis took the loss. It was his first blown save in eight chances.
The Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Crabs and their starter Blake Snell in the third. Cecchini launched an RBI double to left-center field and Jared King brought him home with a two-out RBI single.
Tommy Coyle put the Crabs on the board with a two-out RBI base hit off of reliever Tim Peterson in the fifth.
The Crabs tied it 2-2 in the sixth when Juniel Querecuto’s ball in play went through Mazzilli’s legs at second with two outs. Granden Goetzman scored from third. Jonathan Quinonez tried to score from first on the play, but Cecchini picked up the loose ball behind second and gunned him out at home plate to preserve the tie.
Mets starter Domingo Tapia only went three innings. He did not allow a run and pitched out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the second.
Peterson gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits in three innings.
Jake Kuebler pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
Snell pitched six innings for the Crabs. He gave up two runs and struck out six.
Cecchini had three hits for the Mets.
The win kept the Mets slim playoff hopes alive. They need the Fort Myers Miracle to win the FSL South Division second half (the Miracle are only one game out of first) and the Mets need to finish with the second best record overall. That would put them into the postseason as a wild card team.
The Mets are currently 1.5 games back of Palm Beach and 0.5 games back of Bradenton for second place overall. Their fate will somewhat be in their own hands since they finish the season with four games against Palm Beach.
The Mets will need Fort Myers to beat Jupiter and they also need Charlotte to beat Bradenton.
Every team has four games left. - team press release