The Binghamton Mets sent the home fans happy again Tuesday as they won their second straight over the Erie SeaWolves, 2-0 at NYSEG Stadium.
In front of a crowd of 2,918 filled with raucous college kids, the B-Mets seemed energized by the enthusiasm in the stands and propelled that into a much needed victory.
“It was great and I love to have them out here,” said Teufel of the college kids. “It’s inspiring and it even charges up the guys that play the game.”
Binghamton hurler Eric Niesen made his second start for the B-Mets Tuesday and started off with seven straight balls out of the strike zone. He did battle back, but ended up walking five in 4 2/3 innings. He also fanned five.
He navigated through the difficult waters though, coming up with the big pitch when he needed it. Case in point, inning two when he gave up a walk to third basemen Santo De Leon and a single to Carl Iorg, only to be bailed out by a sparkling double play started by Binghamton shortstop Luis Hernandez.
“Niesen didn’t have his best stuff, he was in and out of the zone,” said B-Mets Manager Tim Teufel. “In the first few innings he didn’t feel comfortable out there, but he made the right pitches at the right time.
Offensively, the teams traded zeros for four and a half innings, but Binghamton missed a golden opportunity in the second. Third baseman Zach Lutz drew a walk and Marshall Hubbard followed with a double down the line in right. Teufel held Lutz at third and the throw from the outfield would have allowed the run to score.
“I kinda messed up to be honest with ya, the right fielder threw to second base and I didn’t send the runner,” said Teufel. “I should have waited a fraction of a second longer, but I was anticipating holding him up because he usually has trouble scoring from first.”
Binghamton had another opportunity slip through their fingers in the third inning. After back-to-back singles by Jose Coronado and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Hernandez hit a seed to third that was fielded by De Leon, who stepped on the bag and threw to first.
In the bottom of the fifth, the B-Mets finally broke on top. Coronado hit a one out double and Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to right and this time Teufel decided to take a chance. He sent Coronado, who slid in safely as the ball went off the top of the catchers glove.
“That was more of an aggressive play, it hit off the first baseman’s glove so I knew it slowed it down but the right fielder has a cannon and he threw a seed to home. If the catcher catches it, he probably puts the tag on him, but the ball got by him. It’s a chance you take during the game.”
That chance gave the B-Mets a 1-0 lead that they would add to in the seventh inning and Coronado was right in the middle of it again. He hit a pop up to shallow center where Iorg and second baseman Justin Henry were stationed. Centerfielder Wilkin Ramirez called for it, but could not make the catch.
As Nieuwenhuis swung at strike three, Coronado stole second. One out later, Nick Evans, who had been intentionally walked twice already, drew a more conventional walk this time, although it was clear that SeaWolves pitcher Luis Marte wanted no part of him.
That brought Lucas Duda to the plate and he made them pay in a big way as he launched a ground-rule double to right field, allowing Coronado to score. Evans would have undoubtedly scored as well, but thankfully the Mets didn’t need it as the bullpen was able to close the game out.
Edgar Ramirez pitched three scoreless innings for the win and John Lujan go the save with 1 1/3 innings of work.
“It was a different kind of shutout tonight,” said Teufel. “It wasn’t a dominating shutout but Lujan pitched great and so did Ramirez. That brings a lot of delight to a manager when the bullpen is good.
Erie @ Binghamton Boxscore 4/13/10
Binghamton (3-3) will try to go for the sweep tonight as they close out this seven game homestand. Dylan Owen (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start for the injured Brad Holt. Owen recorded the only victory over Akron as he pitched five innings of shutout baseball last Friday. He will go against Erie’s L.J. Gagnier (0-0, 0.00) who will try to get the Seawolves (0-6) their first victory of the year.
Game time is 6:35 p.m. and you can get your tickets here.