The Briarwood Mets took Game 1 of their three game series with the Briarwood Braves Tuesday afternoon. Led by ace pitcher Jason Benson’s hard cut fastball and 3 RBIs at the plate as the team’s No. 3 hitter, the Mets took Game 1 by a 7-3 final.
“This is really the first year he’s been a full time pitcher, but he’s done a really good job of calming down and not trying too hard, just relaxing out there and letting it happen,” praised Mets Assistant Coach Paul Rosa. “He looked really good today. That was as good as I’ve seen from him all year.”
“I felt pretty good. Had my cutter working with a nice downward bite,” said Benson on his pitching performance. “Got a few good pitches in, my fastball was working, overall felt pretty good.”
Benson pitched four innings before his pitch count took him out of the game. That’s when the Braves got on the board in the top of the fifth with a three run triple from Nick Hernandez.
“It was just a perfect strike and I just needed to put the bat on the ball,” said Hernandez on his big knock to get his team back in the game. “Thanks to everybody for running, if they didn’t run hard maybe we don’t get all those runs.”
“That was really clutch because we could have come back at that point,” chimed teammate Ethan Baraan on the Hernandez triple. “But then they made the switch on the mound to Justin [Forester] and he did really well.”
Forester took over on the mound for the Mets with first and third and nobody out. All he did was get out of the jam without allowing another run to score. He then closed out the game with a one-two-three sixth inning.
“He is a guy we can bring in whenever we need him and he was that guy today,” noted coach Rosa. “I wasn’t surprised at all by what he was able to do there.”
The Mets offense continuing to tack on runs proved to be the difference to allow Forester the chance to put the clamps down on the Braves. Led by leadoff hitter Braden Rosa and Forester at the two spot ahead of Benson, the top half of the order kept producing about every other inning. Cleanup hitter Jacob Smith also picked up a pair of RBIs.
“I felt pretty comfortable at the plate. If I got on base I knew my teammates behind me would knock me in,” chimed Braden Rosa, who, as the starting catcher, joked about how hard Benson was throwing from the mound. “He’s starting to throw really hard. He’s hurting my finger.”
If the Mets win Game 2 on Thursday, they will move on to the Championship series. If they lose, the Braves will force a decisive Game 3 for the right to play for the league title.