Mets clip Cardinals, sweep FSL East Division Series
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (September 15, 2022) – The St. Lucie Mets came from behind to edge the Palm Beach Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday at Clover Park to sweep the FSL East Division Championship series. The dramatic victory sends the Mets to the FSL Finals for the first time since
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (September 15, 2022) – The St. Lucie Mets came from behind to edge the Palm Beach Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday at Clover Park to sweep the FSL East Division Championship series.
The dramatic victory sends the Mets to the FSL Finals for the first time since 2011. They will play the winner of Friday’s game between the Dunedin Blue Jays and Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. That West Division Championship Series is tied 1-1.
Game 1 of the best-of-three FSL Finals is Sunday night at the West winner. Game 2 will be Tuesday at Clover Park at 6:10 p.m. If necessary Game 3 will be Wednesday at Clover Park at 6:10 p.m.
On Thursday, the Mets fell behind 2-0 in the second inning when Palm Beach leadoff hitter Victor Scott hit a two-run double with the bases loaded against Calvin Ziegler.
Mets reliever Paul Gervase came in and struck out Chris Rotondo and got a fly out from Jimmy Crooks to strand runners at second and third. That began a trend of the Mets keeping the Cardinals from capitalizing in scoring situations. The Mets held the Cardinals to 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position after forcing the Cardinals to go 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in game 1.
Cardinals starting pitcher Tink Hence blanked the Mets through four innings. It was the fourth straight start for Hence not giving up a run in four innings. However, the Mets went to work against reliever Roy Garcia in the decisive sixth inning.
Brad Malm took a leadoff work from Garcia, then Kevin Kendall followed with a double. A passed ball by catcher Leonardo Bernal brought home Malm to cut the deficit to 2-1 and moved Kendall to third base. Kendall scored on the first of three wild pitches by Garcia to tie the game 2-2.
D’Andre Smith worked a walk and advanced to second base and third base on wild pitches. Kevin Parada then smoked a line drive 110 mph off the glove of third baseman Michael Curialle to bring home Smith for a 3-2 lead.
That was enough for Mets pitcher Joel Diaz, who relieved Gervase in the fourth inning. Diaz finished the game by firing six scoreless innings. After a leadoff walk to Curialle in the top of the sixth, Diaz retired the last 12 batters of the game to get the win. He struck out a career high 11 batters.
The Mets now go for their first FSL title since 2006. Ironically that season they also swept Palm Beach 2-0 in the first round. The Mets then swept Dunedin 3-0 in the finals.