B-Mets Bats Fail Again, Lose Series to Gators 3-1

BINGHAMTON, NY - For the second time in as many days, the Binghamton Mets (3-4) scored all of their runs courtesy of the long ball. Sunday however, it wasn't enough as the Mets fell to the Norwich Navigators (4-3) by a score of 3-2, dropping the weekend series three games to one.

Binghamton starting pitcher David Mattox (0-1) looked sharp early on, striking out two in the first inning, but command problems nagged him for the rest of his outing. In the second inning, he narrowly escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Gator pitcher Jeff Clark to ground out harmlessly. Mattox stranded another two runners in the third inning, both of which he walked. Mattox couldn't escape the Gators in the fourth however, as Joe Jester led off the inning with a double, which was quickly followed by an RBI single from Pat Hallmark.

The B-Mets answered right back however. In the bottom of the fourth, right fielder Ron Acuna banged out his first homerun of the season, a two-run shot to right field that scored Jeff Duncan who had doubled to lead off the inning. Unfortunately, that would be all the offense the Mets could muster.

The Mets held onto their one-run lead until the sixth inning, when Steven Bennett relieved Mattox. Bennett allowed a leadoff single to the Gators' Mike Cervenak, and struck out the next batter, Corey Erickson. After back-to-back walks loaded the bases, catcher Chris Curry hit a soft grounder back to the mound that Bennett misplayed. Cervenak scored on the pitcher's error, and the game was tied.

Pinch-hitter Ramon Soler grounded out to second base to score another run and give Norwich the lead. After another walk, Bennett retired Carlos Valderrama with a strikeout to end the inning.

The B-Mets had a chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff strikeout by the struggling Craig Brazell, Acuna and Rodney Nye hit back-to-back singles. During shortstop Chris Basak's at bat, the Mets tried a double steal, but Nye was caught in a rundown, and Acuna was held at third. Basak struck out to end the inning and the threat.

Bennett (0-1) was charged with the loss for his performance, which included four walks in just two innings. Gators starter Clark (1-1) picked up his first win of the season by pitching five innings, giving up just two runs on four hits, while striking out seven. Matt Montgomery pitched the ninth to pick up his second save of the season.

The B-Mets hit the road next, traveling to Portland to face the Sea Dogs for a three-game series. Right-hander Joe Cole gets the start on Monday for the Mets. He will face Portland's Junior Herndon.

Notes: The B-Mets pitchers combined for a whopping 10 walks during the game, not including two hit-by-pitches … The offensively struggling Mets hit just .216 during the four-game series with the Gators; Ron Acuna is about the only Met doing well, he hit .466 during the series … Gator first baseman Mike Cervenak hit .571 in the series to lead the Gators.

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