The Binghamton Mets scored two runs in the fifth to break a tie game and turned a critical double play in the seventh to preserve the lead in a 5-2 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series night at The Diamond. The B-Mets have won three straight postseason games and own a 1-0 edge in the best-of-five game series.
Playing in their first ELCS game in two decades, Binghamton’s offense came out firing. After failing to push a run across with the bases loaded in the first, the B-Mets broke through against Clayton Blackburn in the second. With two aboard, Brandon Nimmo ripped the first pitch he saw into right for an RBI single.
Richmond answered back against Tyler Pill in the third. Tyler LaTorre opened the frame with a single to right. The catcher took second when Blackburn dragged a bunt single up the first base line and scored on Daniel Carbonell’s line drive single into right, tying the game at one.
The B-Mets snatched the lead back in the fifth. Following two singles, Darrell Ceciliani pulled a single into right, plating TJ Rivera from second base. Xorge Carrillo doubled Binghamton’s lead with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Flying Squirrels scratched out a run in the fifth to cut Binghamton’s lead down to one. Tyler Horan ripped a double to the right-field alley and came home when pinch-hitter Myles Schroder pulled an RBI single into right. Horan scored, but Schroder, representing the tying run, was nabbed attempting to advance to second on the throw home.
Pill handed the one-run lead to the bullpen after tossing a scoreless sixth inning. Reliever Paul Sewald exited after walking two of the three batters he faced. Chase Huchingson took over and walked Elliott Blair on four pitches loading the bases. The southpaw avoided harm by inducing Mitch Delfino to bounce to second baseman Rivera, jumpstarting an inning-ending double play.
Binghamton stretched their lead with a two-out rally in the eighth against Kyle Crick. Following a four-pitch walk to Tovar, Dustin Lawley ripped a payoff pitch into the left-field alley, plating the B-Mets shortstop from first. Nimmo capped the inning by slicing an RBI single into left.
Hansel Robles inherited the three-run advantage and fell into a quick jam by allowing a leadoff triple to Carbonell. The righty bounced back, stranding the Cuban defector at third by registering three straight outs. Cody Satterwhite took over in the ninth and fanned two in a perfect inning, earning his second save of the postseason.
Pill (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits, posting Binghamton’s second quality start of the playoffs. The righty struck out three and issued no walks over six innings. Blackburn (0-1) surrendered three runs on eight hits over five innings in the loss.
POSTGAME NOTES: Brandon Nimmo is 8-for-15 in his last 3 postseason games with two doubles, five runs scored and one RBI…Hansel Robles has thrown 5-2/3 scoreless innings in the postseason…it was Binghamton’s first win in the Eastern League Championship Series since they won Game 4 in 1994 () against the Harrisburg Senators - team press release