Posted by Mack Ade at 5:00 AM
The St. Lucie Mets faced long playoff odds entering finale against the Palm Beach Cardinals.
The Mets did their part by beating the Cardinals 4-2 at Tradition Field, but Bradenton’s 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Stone Crabs in game 1 of a doubleheader eliminated the Mets from playoff contention and sealed the FSL South Division for Bradenton.
Bradenton will play Fort Myers in the playoffs while the Mets finished their season 76-62.
In his final start of the season, Mets pitcher Matt Koch limited the Cardinals to one run over seven innings. He scattered nine hits but induced two double play balls and struck out four batters.
The Mets scored all four of their runs in the third inning off of Tyrell Jenkins. Gavin Cecchini led off with a single and advanced to second and third on two wild pitches. Gilbert Gomez drove him home with a double.
After Maikis De La Cruz singled, L.J. Mazzilli crushed a two-run double to score Gomez and De La Cruz and put the Mets up 3-0. Jared King capped off the inning with an RBI ground rule double.
The Cardinals made it 4-1 with a single by Cesar Valera in the fourth. That would be it against Koch. He quickly recovered by getting Dante Rosenberg to ground into a double play.
Mason Katz hit a solo home run off of Jake Kuebler in the eighth to cut the Mets lead to 4-2, but Kuebler ended up striking out the side.
In the ninth, Kuebler committed an error on a ground ball to start the inning but got the next three batters in order to end the game and the season.
Koch earned his 10th win, a team high. Kuebler got his third save.
Mazzilli had three hits on the day and finished the season with a .312 batting average.
Jenkins took the loss for Palm Beach.
The Mets entered the day with slim playoff hopes. They needed to beat Palm Beach, have Fort Myers beat Jupiter and have Charlotte sweep a doubleheader from Bradenton.
The Mets won their game and Fort Myers crushed Jupiter 14-1. However, Charlotte didn’t help the Mets out. The Stone Crabs had the bases loaded in the sixth inning trailing by one run but bounced into an inning-ending double play. Bradenton hung on to win 3-2. - team press release