Jaylin Davis(Northeast Guilford HS) going LONG GONE vs. Durham Bulls:Davis had four hits, with 2 HR’s and the Game-Winner in Game One of DH

Syracuse sweeps doubleheader in Durham on Saturday, pushes season-best winning streak to six games

Jaylin Davis(Northeast Guilford High School/APP State) had four hits, including two home runs, for Syracuse during Saturday’s doubleheader.
(Game alert on Jaylin Davis, coming from Coach Chris Suggs, head baseball coach at Northeast Guilford HS.)

Durham, NC – The Syracuse Mets continued their torrid pace on Saturday night, sweeping both halves of a doubleheader at the Durham Bulls on a sticky summer night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Syracuse took the first game in extra innings, 6-4, before rallying back to win the second half of the twin bill, 9-4. The Mets have now won a season-best six games in a row. Syracuse has also won ten out of its last 12 games and the first five games in the six-game series at the Durham Bulls.

Syracuse got right to work in game one of the doubleheader, scoring a run via the very first batter of the ballgame. Rafael Ortega launched a solo homer down the right-field line leading off the top of the first, propelling the Mets to a 1-0 lead just like that.

In the top of the second, the Mets scored again when they loaded up the bases via singles from DJ Stewart and Jaylin Davis plus Luke Ritter getting hit by a pitch. Syracuse then scored on a sacrifice fly from Carlos Cortes to make it 2-0. However, Syracuse squandered an opportunity to blow the game open early as the next two batters were retired in order to keep the Durham deficit at 2-0 entering the bottom of the second inning.

In the top of the third, the Mets scored yet again, making it 3-0 by way of a truly booming home run off the bat of Mark Vientos. He launched a shot 453 feet over the wall in left-center field, surging Syracuse to a 3-0 lead.

However, that advantage would be short-lived, as the Bulls unleashed some power of their own in the bottom half of the third to get right back in the ballgame. With Kameron Misner on second base and one out, Jonathan Aranda launched a laser-beam, line drive home run over the right-field wall to slim the Durham deficit to just one, 3-2. Aranda entered the week batting better than .500 in June.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulls grabbed the lead for the first time in game one of the doubleheader. First, Ben Gamel tripled with one out to put the tying run 90 feet away on third base. The next batter did one better as Tristan Gray smacked a go-ahead, two-run blast over the right-field fence to make it a 4-3 game and give the Bulls the lead.

That lead would last exactly one batter. Carlos Cortes crushed a game-tying solo shot leading off the top of the fifth, a drive that landed 422 feet from home plate over the right-field wall. Cortes also had three hits, including two doubles, in Friday night’s win for the Mets.

The game would remain knotted up at four into extra innings, and after the first extra inning (the eighth) went scoreless, Syracuse got the job done in the top of the ninth. Jaylin Davis, who grew up in nearby Greensboro, pounded a two-run homer over the center-field fence in the ninth to push the Mets in front for good, 6-4.

Jimmy Yacabonis held Durham off the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first save of the season and make it a five-game winning streak for Syracuse.

Early on in game two of the doubleheader, it looked like Durham (39-35) would finally get a win this week. The Bulls raced out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, powered by a solo home run from Jonathan Aranda and a two-out, two-run homer from Tristan Gray. Both players had excellent days at the plate for the Bulls, hitting homers in each game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

After the first two innings went scoreless for Syracuse (33-40), the bats rose from their slumber in the top of the third. The Mets thundered in front with six runs on five hits, sending all nine men to the plate in the process. Highlights from the fateful third inning including a solo homer from Luke Ritter, another two-run homer from Jaylin Davis. and RBI doubles from Ronny Mauricio and Luke Voit. Four out of the five hits for the Mets in the third inning were extra-base hits, adding up to quite the scoring bonanza for a 6-3 Syracuse advantage.

In the fourth, Mets scored two more times to make it eight unanswered runs and an 8-3 lead. The Mets benefited from some Durham miscues in the top of the fourth. After Ritter walked to start the inning and Nick Meyer struck out, things got goofy. Jonathan Araúz hit a slow roller to third base that looked destined to produce at least one hit, but Tristan Gray threw to second base late and everyone was safe. Then, Ronny Mauricio sliced a sharp single into center field, and as Greg Jones tried to throw back into the infield, the throw slipped out of his fingers and rolled harmlessly into shallow right field. That scored one run for a 7-3 lead, followed by an RBI groundout from Mark Vientos that scored another run and made it an 8-3 advantage for the Mets.

While the Mets’ offense was humming along, their starting pitcher was battling back after a rough start. After allowing the two home runs and three total runs in the bottom of the first, Alex Valverde settled into a solid outing for Syracuse. By the end of the night, Valverde tossed five innings and allowed four runs, but only two earned, on five hits, plus two walks and five strikeouts. At one point, Valverde retired ten Bulls batters in a row without allowing a hit.

Syracuse wrapped up its busy afternoon and evening at the plate with one final run in the sixth via an RBI double from Araúz that plated Nick Meyer, who had walked earlier in the inning, as Syracuse took a 9-3 lead. Combined in the 16 innings of the doubleheader, the Mets scored 15 runs on 16 hits. Most impressively, nine of those 16 hits were extra-base hits. Eight different players drove in at least one run in an incredibly productive day at the office for the entire offense.

The Mets bullpen sealed the deal late in the second half of the doubleheader as Stephen Ridings and Dedniel Núñez each tossed scoreless innings for a comfortable ride to the finish line for Syracuse. Not to be lost amidst all the headlines during the winning streak is the brilliant work of the bullpen. In the five games so far this week in Durham, the Syracuse bullpen has allowed six earned runs in 16 and one-third innings of work, good for a 3.31 ERA. More impressively, Syracuse’s bullpen has surrendered just one earned run in its last 14 and one-third innings overall. The Mets bullpen has also racked up 18 strikeouts already in this week’s series.

Syracuse finally wraps up its two-week long road trip on Sunday. Game six of the series at the Durham Bulls and game 12 of the road trip is scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m. Right-hander Denyi Reyes is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Cooper Criswell for the Bulls.