Five hours and twenty-two minutes after the first pitch, Benny Agbayani delivered his defining “Hawaiian Punch” for the New York Mets. It was a knockout punch to help the team seal the NLDS and advance to the next round of the postseason.
After dropping game one to the San Francisco Giants, the Mets were victorious in the second of the best of five series. The series shifted back to Shea Stadium for game three where Agbayani had his chance to play the hero.
The Giants took the lead in the fourth inning with a pair of runs. Chipping away, the Mets scored one in the bottom of the sixth on a Timo Perez single and another on a two-out double by Edgardo Alfonzo in the bottom of the eight. The game was then tied and it would remain that way.
Benny Agbayani became a Mets postseason hero with this swing
It was October 7, 2000, at around 4:20 when it all began. Rick Reed took the mound for the Mets with Russ Ortiz up against him. This was a game that could swing the series in either direction. A win for San Francisco could give them the edge with home-field advantage. For New York, it could help them seal the deal.
After the Alfonzo double, the two teams would go scoreless in the ninth and send things to extras. There was no runner waiting on second base to start any inning. Each frame would begin with the bases cleared and both teams vying to create chaos whichever way they could.
The Mets came close to winning it in the bottom of the 11th. Two singles and a walk loaded them up for Todd Pratt. A flyball ended this opportunity. The game continued on.
San Francisco had their own chance in the top of the 13th. A strikeout, a single, another strikeout, and another single put two on for Barry Bonds to face Rick White. White, working his second inning of the game, came up clutch. Bonds popped out to second base and it was another missed opportunity for the Giants.
Aaron Fultz, also working his second inning, returned to the mound for the Giants. He retired the first batter but that would be it. On a 1-0 pitch to the hero of the night, Benny Agbayani, deposited one into left field.
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In a way, the Agbayani home run was a death blow to the Giants. The very next day, Bobby Jones tossed a one-hitter to end the NLDS. The Mets were the winners and bound for the next step on their quest for a championship.