On a day when the vast majority of Americans didn't work, the B-Mets gathered to discuss their approach to their job. A renewed commitment to fun, an Ike Davis three run homer, and 6.2 scoreless innings from Dylan Owen produced a 4-0 win over the Erie Sea Wolves.
On the heels of a sweep at home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in which the team was outscored 30-9, the Binghamton players held a players-only meeting at 5 PM in the team's bullpen down the rightfield line.
The team's veterans, Shawn Bowman (age 24), Mike Nickeas (25) and Caleb Stewart (27) called the meeting. "The meeting was about being positive, and having fun playing the game," Nickeas said after the game, "We played the game tonight like a bunch of 12-year olds and it felt awesome." Davis noticed the change as well, "It was a lot of fun today. The last couple of weeks haven't been fun. We haven't had a great attitude. We've been getting our butts beat. Today, we turned it around and got a better attitude."
Talking about having fun is easy, but winning makes it happen. While Nickeas and co. led the talking in the afternoon, Davis handled the hitting at night. His three run homerun in the sixth broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning. Erie starter Luis Marte had walked two of the first three batters of the inning before Davis clubbed the first pitch he saw, "fastball, middle, in and a little bit down," he said to give his team a 3-0 advantage. Davis, who likes fastballs, was looking for one, but there was a twist, "The guy was throwing a lot of fastballs. He had a fastball that was 84, a fastball that was 86, a fastball that was 89 and a fastball that was 92. He mixed the speeds really well and kept us off-balance all day. So I was going up looking for a fastball. I didn’t know which one I was going to get." After the game, he still wasn't sure which one he'd hit, but knew he was happy with the feeling, "it was good to get one out, but it was good to just get a ball on the barrel," he said.
On the hill, Dylan Owen worked around baserunners in every inning but the first to fire 6.2 shutout frames. He featured a fastball that was 86-89, and a slider at 77-78 mph. His catcher, Nickeas, was impressed by his mental fortitude, "I was impressed, especially for a young guy, the way he battled." Owen gave up six hits, two walks and hit a batter, but didn't allow a run in his six innings. He struck out one.
The players-only meeting also touched on playing as a team and taking responsability for the outcome. As Nickeas explained, "[the coaches] can't play. It's up to us. It's our team. We don't want to be embarrassed anymore. We're gonna go out and do our job.... We got a great group of guys. It's not like we're at each other's throats. We're all friends here, we should be able to win ballgames."Nickeas also stressed that the good vibes from Saturday's win must continue, "Every day's a new day," he said, "I think if we maintain this attitude we'll be tough to beat."