Monday two rivals faced off on the baseball field, each looking to make their way to the top of the standings.
The Phillies and the Mets faced off in a Dixie Boys game that had all the intensity of a National League East showdown in September.
Despite trailing by three runs early on in the game, the Phillies were able to cap off a come back that allowed them to edge the Mets, 10-9 in six-innings and in the process keeping its current winning streak going to three games.
“We never gave up,” Phillies’ head coach Billy Hixon said after the game.
“We had several errors early in the game that allowed (the Mets) to take the lead.
“But I told the kids to keep their focus, and they did, and we were able to chip away at the lead and get the win,” he added.
The Phillies struck first with five runs in the top half of the leadoff inning.
Three of those runs came off the bat of Blake Craft, thanks to a home run.
However, not to be out done, the Mets struck during the bottom half of the first inning, also scoring five runs, three of which came off of a Rhett Tucker home run.
The Mets would take an 8-5 lead in the next inning, scoring three runs off of four Phillie errors.
Thanks to back-to-back two-run innings, the Phillies were able to take a 9-8 lead, but like they had done earlier, the Mets answered back, scoring the tying run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, again the Phillies threatened to take the lead, with runners on first and second with just one out but a leaping DeMario Harris catch and throw-out to second base ended the Phillies’ rally.
After a fruitless inning for the Mets in the bottom of fifth, the Phillies again came to the plate, and this time took care of business when Craft came around to score what would eventually be the winning run off a JaKendal Johnson base hit to right field.
“JaKendal had struggled a little bit early on in the game,” Hixon said. “But in the end, he came through for us with a huge at-bat.”
The win improved the Phillies to 3-2, with all three of its wins coming since last Friday.
The loss drops the Mets to 2-3 in the early season.
“I thought the team hung in there,” Mets’ skipper Sam Kitchens said.
“I like how they fought hard – I was proud of that. Hopefully, this is one of those games they learn from.”
Both Craft and John Michael Renfroe finished with two hits apiece, with Craft hitting a home run and single and Renfroe hitting two doubles. The Mets’ Tucker finished 1-3 with a homer and three RBIs.