Lakeland 9 - St. Lucie 5


The Lakeland Flying Tigers pulled away in the ninth inning for a 9-5 win over the St. Lucie Mets on Tuesday at First Data Field.

Lakeland led 6-5 entering the ninth and got RBI doubles from Quincy Latimore and Ben Verlander and a RBI single by Ben Verlander to ice the game.

The Mets played from a disadvantage right out of the gate after starting pitcher Thomas McIlraith only recorded one out in the first inning before departing with an apparent injury.

Offensively the Mets got a boost from the return of Jeff McNeil, who missed almost all of 2016 and spring training rehabbing an injury. McNeil went 4 for 5 and fell a triple shy of the cycle. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning on his first swing to put the Mets up 2-0.

The lead evaporated in the third. Joey Pankake tied the game with a two-run homer. Mets reliever Craig Missigman hit a batter and walked two more with two outs. That brought up Arvicent Perez who cleared the bases with a double to put the Flying Tigers up 5-2.

St. Lucie battled back to make it 5-4 in the fourth and then 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth. However, the comeback ran out of steam in the ninth.

McNeil had two chances for the triple to complete the cycle. He ended up singling and grounding out to the pitcher.

Jhoan Urena went 2 for 4 and raised his batting average to .344.

Lakeland starter Kyle Dowdy picked up the win. He tossed five innings and gave up four runs. Four Flying Tigers pitchers held the Mets to 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. The only hit was a RBI double by McNeil in the third.

The Mets losing streak stretched to six games.

The Mets (7-12) and Flying Tigers (11-8) continue their series at First Data Field on Wednesday. It’s All You Can Eat and a Seat for fans. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.


Thomas Brennan said...

Jeff McNeil is back with a bang. Already more dangerous offensively than Jose Reyes.

Hobie said...

"Joey Pankake tied the game with a two-run homer." is classic baseball reportage. Maybe an excerpt from a Robrt Coover novel?

Had to check the boxscore to see if you were pulling my leg. :-)

Mack's Mets © 2012