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Triple Play! Bisons turn epic play at Coca Cola Field

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It all happened in the blink of an eye.

Tonight at Coca Cola Field, the Buffalo Bisons pulled off a rare and seldom seen play in baseball—the triple play.

The Rochester Red Wings were in town, for what is the final homestand on this dismal and forgettable season. With players now playing for pride and roster spots in 2010, the Buffalo Bisons pulled off what will certainly be the highlight reel moment of the 2009 season.

It all took place in the top of the 3rd inning. Rochester players Jason Pridie and Dustin Martin got on base to lead off the inning, thanks to a base hit and a walk. Then came Rochester second baseman Steven Tolleson to the plate. He hit a line drive to Bisons shortstop Argenis Reyes to record the first out. With the runners going, Reyes flipped the ball over to second base and second baseman Luis Rivera for the second out, and Rivera relayed the throw to first baseman Mike Lamb to complete the bang bang bang sequence.

Despite the excitement, the Bisons went down to defeat to the Rochester Red Wings by a 9-6 score. Four Rochester home runs were the Bisons undoing in this game.

Ken Oberkfell mused about the triple play in his post game comments. “It was an important play at the time because the score was tied 2-2,” said Oberkfell. “I know this was special only one happened here what was it, ten years ago?”

Actually, only one other triple play was executed at the downtown ballpark. On July 27, 1997, Jeff Manto, Torey Lovullo and Richie Sexson combined on a round the horn play against the Nashville Sounds. No opposing team has ever executed a triple play against the Bisons here in Buffalo in the modern era.

Has Oberkfell ever been part of a triple play, either as a player or a manager? “Twice as a player, both times in St. Louis,” replied Oberkfell. Then he smiled and sheepishly admitted, “I hit into a triple play once, it was in Spring Training, but since it was just exhibition, that’s a good thing I guess.”

The Bisons celebrate “Fan Appreciation Night” at 7PM Wednesday night at the ballpark,with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees coming to town, and complete with a big postgame fireworks show. The home season concludes at 1PM Thursday, so this is your last chance to see some baseball downtown this summer.