Pascucci, Bisons roll past Tides
Valentino Pascucci broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a towering two-run blast over the left field screen and out of Coca Cola Field, putting the Bisons ahead of the Norfolk Tides for a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon.
“Once I hit that one, I knew it was gone,” Pascucci said. “I think a few people did. I think I might have heard (hitting coach Mike) Easler yelling from the dugout.”
Starter Chris Schwinden ran into early trouble with a leadoff walk to Matt Angle, a Tyler Henson single and a line-drive blast over the left field wall by Jake Fox, giving Norfolk a quick 3-0 lead.
However Tides starter Chris George fared no easier in the bottom of the stanza, allowing three runs on five hits, including Nick Evans’ 12th double of the season and a two-run double by Fernando Martinez.
“That’s the sign that you’re looking for as a team to bounce back from that first inning,” Pascucci said.
Evans extended his Bisons hit streak to 16 games, the third Buffalo batter to hit that mark. Going 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs, Evans has 12 multi-hit games over the streak.
Schwinden rebounded from the Fox home run, retiring 17 straight batters with perfect second through sixth innings. He topped his own mark for most consecutive outs by a Herd pitcher, 16 at Louisville May 16.
Buffalo manager Tim Teufel credited Schwinden’s turnaround to mental toughness.
“He was showing that he can execute under pressure,” Teufel said. “Certainly today was a day where he had to make adjustments early in the game and he made those adjustments.
Earning his fifth win of the season, Schwinden allowed three earned runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Schwinden said he told himself to throw strikes after the early trouble.
“They put some good swings on, but didn’t really connect and it turned out for the best,” he added.
While Schwinden shut down the Tides, George also tossed scoreless second through sixth innings, stranding five base runners over that stretch.
George exited the game with the game still tied, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Taylor Tankersley threw a one-two-three eighth inning before Dale Thayer’s scoreless ninth for his team-high fifth save.
With Brandon Snyder on first, Martinez caught a fly ball from Josh Bell on the right field warning track just short of a game-tying home run.
Game Notes: The win clinched the second home series win of the season for the Bisons… Pascucci tied Lucas Duda for the team lead with 10 home runs on the season… Pascucci also leads the Herd with 49 RBI.