Posted by Mack Ade at 6:00 AM
The Binghamton Mets scored seven runs in the seventh, but failed to protect a late one-run lead in an 8-7 loss to the Akron RubberDucks night at Canal Park. Binghamton sent 11 men to the plate in the big inning before watching Akron push across a pair of runs against the B-Met bullpen. LJ Mazzilli, representing the tying run in the ninth, was gunned down at third attempting to advance on a foul pop out to the catcher to end the game.
Trailing by six, the B-Mets offense erupted in the seventh. The first seven batters of the inning reached and scored against Akron relievers Grant Sides and Robbie Aviles. Mazzilli pulled the B-Mets within a run by ripping a three-run double into the left-field corner. Derrik Gibson launched a game-tying triple to center and scampered home with the go-ahead run on Aviles’ wild pitch.
The seven-run high would not last for long. B-Met reliever Mike Hepple surrendered a leadoff double to Ivan Castillo in the seventh and later uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game. Akron retook the lead in the eighth when Todd Hankins roped a two-out double to left against Luis Mateo.
Binghamton put two aboard in the ninth off JP Feyereisen. With one out, Matt Oberste popped out to the catcher Jeremy Lucas in front of the B-Mets first base dugout. Lucas tumbled after the catch, but popped back up and fired to third to nab Mazzilli to end the game.
Binghamton was forced to play from behind after starter Rainy Lara struggled to find his groove early. Nellie Rodriguez banged a two-run homer off the batter’s eye in center to highlight Akron’s three-run first inning. Clint Frazier and Jordan Smith added solo home runs in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Akron starter DJ Brown had stymied the B-Mets over six scoreless innings. The righty allowed just two hits, struck out six and faced three over the minimum, but took a no-decision after Binghamton’s seven-run frame.
Aviles (1-0) earned the win after suffering his first blown save. Hepple (2-3) allowed two runs over 1-2/3 innings in the defeat. JP Feyereisen walked the tightrope in the ninth to earn his second save.