Bisons take twin-bill from Braves
The Bisons got their first series win with by sweeping the Gwinnett Braves in Sundays doubleheader at Coca-Cola Field. The Herd won the first game, 5-3, and the second, 2-1, thanks in large part to the long ball.
The Herd power surge came in the fifth inning of game one and the fourth inning of game two. In both games the Bisons were behind on the scoreboard.
Gwinnett was up early in the first game of the doubleheader, 3-0, before the Bisons struck back in the fifth inning. After Fernando Martinez ended Todd Redmond’s 21 scoreless inning streak with a sacrifice fly scoring Mike Nickeas, the Bisons loaded the bases with two outs.
With Luis Figueroa on first Michael Fisher drew a walk with two outs and Redmond hit Lucas Duda to fill the bases with Bisons. Valentino Pascucci came to the plate with a golden opportunity to put runs on the board.
“I was the happiest guy when Duda got hit, I know he wasn’t, but I was cause it gave me a shot with the bases loaded and a chance to drive in some runs,” said Pascucci. “Fisher was battling, battling, battling and ended up getting a walk, Duda getting hit loading the base, and two strikes on Pascucci and he hits one out the other way,” said manager Tim Teufel. “That’s the difference in the ball game.”
F. Martinez hit the Bisons last grand slam on June 14, 2011 in a, 7-6, walk-off win against Lehigh Valley. It was Pascucci’s fourth homerun of the season and the 33rd hit by the Bisons, and only the eighth homerun that was not a solo-shot.
Down, 1-0, in the fourth inning of game-two Fisher drilled a solo-homerun over the wall in right-center to tie the game at, 1-1.
One batter later Duda hit a solo-homerun over the wall in left to give the Bisons a, 2-1, lead.
The Herd’s bullpen pitched its way through the second game of the double header starting with John Lujan. Lujan made his first start since 2007 and was followed by Justin Hampson and then Ryota Igarashi.
“Lujan did a nice job giving us what he could,” said Teufel.
After taking the lead, 2-1, the Herd danced out of trouble in the fifth and sixth inning. In the fifth the Herd escaped by picking off Braves call-up Antoan Richardson. After advancing runners to second and third on a balk, Igarashi struck out Ed Lucas to end the fifth.
In the sixth inning Igarashi had runners on first and third with one out. He got Wilkin Castillo to fly-out to Fisher and struck out Richardson to keep the score, 2-1.
Igarashi handed the ball to Manny Acosta to close out the game for the win and give the Bisons their first series win of the season and improve their home record to, 16-14.
Game Notes: The Bisons hit the first grand slam of the season and the first since June 14, 2010…Fernando Martinez drove in his first RBI since being put on the clubs active roster Friday..LHP Mark Cohoon was also added to the Bisons active roster…John Lujan made his eighth career start and first since May 24, 2007, when he started for Winston-Salem…The Bisons Homerun total moved to 35, 27 of the 35 are solo-shots.