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Bisons take 8-6 win in 11 in wild affair

STAFF REPORTS


If you left Harbor Park early on Saturday night, you sure missed a lot of baseball!
The Bisons pulled out an 8-6 victory over the Norfolk Tides in a game where all 14 runs were scored from the eighth inning on. Darnell Sweeney's two-run home run was part of a three-run Herd 11th inning as Buffalo moved back over the .500-mark at 4-3.
To put Saturday's contest in perspective, the teams combined for just eight hits through the first seven innings of a scoreless affair. Then, Buffalo and Norfolk each scored runs in their halves of the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings.
The score was 4-2 Buffalo in the ninth with the Tides down to their final strike. With Sam Moll on to close it out, Tides outfielder Joey Rickard, who had five hits in Friday night's contest, doubled off the wall in left field scoring two and sending the game into extras.
Both teams scored their free runner sin the 10th as Danny Espinosa doubled home Anthony Alfordon one of the four times the veteran shortstop reached base in the game. The Herd, however, missed a golden opportunity to score more as Reese McGuireGift Ngoepe and Jason Leblebijian all went down on strikes with two runners on base.
It wouldn't cost the Herd though as Sweeney led off the 11th with his second home run of the year. With Leblebijian placed on second base, Sweeney drove a 1-0 offering from the Tides' fifth pitcher of the night, Matt Wotherspoon, over the wall in right for the 7-5 lead. Buffalo added another run when Dwight Smith Jr. walked, moved to second on an Alford single and scored when Norfolk catcher Andrew Susac airmailed a pickoff attempt.
The Tides could only push across their free base runner in the bottom of the 11th with Luis Santosearning his first victory of the season.
Buffalo starter Sam Gaviglio was great, but his 5.1 innings of shutout baseball got lost with the late-inning craziness. The righty struck out six and walked just one in the no-decision.
The Bisons finally cracked the scoreboard in the eighth, scoring three times with two outs thanks to a bases-loaded walk by Rowdy Tellez and a two-run bloop single from McGuire. When the Tides cut the lead to 3-2, Dalton Pompey utilized his speed to steal another run for Buffalo. The outfielder singled and stole second base before Smith Jr.'s infield single. On that play, Tides' first baseman Garabez Rosa tried to catch Pompey rounding too far off the bag at third, but decided to throw behind him instead of towards home. Pompey took off for the plate and scored the Bisons fourth run.
With the series now tied 1-1, the Bisons will look to take the rubber match Sunday at 1:05 p.m. with RHP Deck McGuire on the hill for the Herd.
BISONS NOTES:
The Bisons have started the season with alternating wins and then losses in their first seven contest…OF Dalton Pompey went 3-5 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. His been on base six times in his first two games back with the Herd… Dwight Smith Jr. had four hits the contest including two on the infield…Neither team was in love with the strike zone being called as the clubs combined to strike out 27 times. Tides manager Ron Johnson was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the 10th inning… Before the game, the Blue Jays announced that they have traded Bisons infielder Jon Berti to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations. Berti has appeared with the Herd in each of the last four seasons, hitting .212 with six home runs, 36 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 113 total games.