Buffalo, NY - By all means, the game was not pretty.
The Buffalo Bisons and Louisville Bats combined to leave 28 men on base and were 4-for-33 with runners in scoring position. That didn’t stop Andy LaRoche from playing the hero role in the first extra-inning game of the Bisons season, as he lined a ball over Billy Hamilton’s head in centerfield to drive in Mauro Gomez for a 4-3 win in front of 10,249 at Coca-Cola Field Friday night.
“I was just trying to stay short with it and he ended up throwing it right down the middle and good thing I connected on it,” said LaRoche. ”The center fielder is pretty fast. Good thing he couldn’t track it down.”
It seemed like a never ending death march as it seemed each inning featured multiple runners left on base. The Bisons left the bases loaded in both the eighth and ninth innings.
“I know our guys were going out there, trying to put together some good at-bats to try and push it across, they just made some good quality pitches to us at that time,” said Bisons hitting coach Jon Nunnally. ”I knew our guys were trying to do all that they could do to get those runs across the board.”
Bisons manager Marty Brown was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing a strike three call. Shortstop Mike McCoy followed his coach the next inning as he too was tossed from the ball game.
After falling behind 3-2 after a wild pitch by Alex Hinshaw which scored Felix Perez, LaRoche hit an opposite-field single to right field which scored Gomez to tie the game at three.
The game had the feel and pace of a Yankees and Red Sox game. The four hour and 17 minute game was the longest of the season thus far for the Bisons and they will have less than a full day to enjoy it as they face Louisville again at 1:05 tomorrow afternoon.
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bisons
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