by Seth Mates of PipeDream
Friday's matchup between the Binghamton Mets and the Norwich Navigators started as a baseball game. It ended as a marathon.
The teams played a mind-numbing three hours and 32 minutes before the Navigators finally came away with an 11-inning, 5-3 win.
In the top of the 11th, with Luis Arroyo pitching for the Mets, Chris Ashby of the Navigators reached on a two-out fielder's choice. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, first baseman Kurt Bierek singled, scoring Ashby with the go-ahead run.
After Arroyo was relieved by Corey Brittain, Norwich third baseman Mike Berry doubled in Bierek to give Norwich the two-run lead heading into the bottom of the 11th.
The Mets offense, which had looked so potent all game, had now stalled. A team which had its leadoff runner reach base in each of the first six innings now couldn't buy a hit, and the Mets fell to reliever Jay Tessmer, who earned his second save of the year for Norwich.
The Mets loss ruined Binghamton University night at the stadium, which drew 2,805 on a rainy spring evening. As part of the ceremonies, Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur threw out the first pitch and the Binghamtonics helped out with the National Anthem.
The Mets took the early lead off Navigators starter David Zancanaro. In the third, the Mets took advantage of sloppy Navigators defense, as shorstop Enohel Polanco scored on a passed ball, and centerfielder Dwight Maness scored on a throwing error.
The Navigators took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on Ashby's three-run homer, his second of the season.
The Mets then tied up the game in the sixth, on rightfielder Terrence Long's first home run of the season.
For the Mets, Maness had three hits, and third baseman Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. Ashby drove in three for Norwich, and Bierek and designated hitter David Keel each had two hits.