Duda crushes game-winning homer
This was the chant that the 13,867 fans at Coca-Cola Field cheered when left fielder Lucas Duda sent a bomb deep into the night in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Bisons the 7-5 win over the Columbus Clippers.
Duda’s walk off ended an wild back and forth contest between the Herd and Clippers that saw the Bisons rack up seven runs off of only six hits. The Clippers managed to get 13 hits as a team but could only push five runs across the board.
The Bisons used the free passes issued by the Clippers to help them score a majority of their runs. The Herd took advantage of the walks starting in the second inning. Valentino Pascucci and Jorge Padilla drew consecutive walks to lead off the inning. Mike Cervenak used a sacrifice fly to get the first run home and Michael Barrett hit a single to right to put the Bisons up 2-0 early.
Following the Clippers tying the game at two in the top of the seventh, Lucas Duda and Nick Evans once again lead off the inning with back-to-back walks. On the night the Bisons drew ten walks from the Columbus pitching staff. Valentino Pascucci then launched his 13th home run of the year to left field to give the Herd what seemed to be a comfortable 5-2 lead. Pascucci’s three run shot was his first home run since July 29th.
Columbus would not go into the Buffalo night quietly however as they answered back for three runs in the top of the eighth. The Clippers would get singles from three of their first four batters before Damaso Espino would tie the game up with a two-run single.
Buffalo would answer back again as this team showed once again it’s “never say die” attitude. Justin Turner started the rally off right when he singled on the first pitch he saw to put a runner on with no outs. Lucas Duda then put an end to the 3:25 marathon game when he launched a bomb to left field that put the spectators in Heron’s Landing in danger.
Duda’s walk off home run was his 14th of the season and the ninth walk off win for the Bisons this year. In his 45 games with the Herd, Duda is putting up impressive numbers. The left fielder is hitting .312 in his time in Buffalo and his 40 RBI are slowly creeping up on Mike Hessman’s team-leading mark of 58.
The Herd have now won six of their last seven contests and have taken the first two of a four game set with Columbus. Their record now stands at 58-54 as they remain 3.5 games back of Louisville of the IL’s lone Wild Card spot as the Bats defeated Norfolk tonight, 8-7.
BISONS NOTES: Former Bisons slugger Mike Hessman hit a pinch-hit three-run home run for the Mets tonight. Hessman entered the game in the ninth inning and hit his first home run in the majors this season off of J.C Romero to make the game 7-5. The Mets would however ultimately lose by that same score.