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Bisons Raise Curtain on 2011 Season

Filed under: Sports

Hard to believe it, but the Buffalo Bisons opened their 24th season downtown at Coca Cola Field, and this one turned out to be one of the most memorable.

It wasn’t so much about the team on the field. The Bisons begin their 3rd season as the top affiliate of the New York Mets, and about half of last year’s familiar roster returns this year, including Opening Day starter Dillon Gee.

The star of the show was the introduction of the newest attraction to the ballpark, the mammoth new HD video scoreboard. Billed as the largest such scoreboard in the minor leagues, the full range of the technology was rolled out for the over 11,000 fans in attendance. Judging from the crowd reaction, the board was a big hit.

Director of Event Presentation Matt LaSota produced a very nice video to highlight the mammoth makeover of the ballpark which took place during the recent offseason. The former scoreboard was imploded to reveal the exciting new board, and then a time lapse video detailed the reconstruction of the field and it’s state of the art drainage system, and the replacement of the rusty old light poles with new poles and Eco friendly halogen lighting.

As for the game? Buffalo held a record of 14-9 in it’s first 23 seasons downtown. That record fell to 14-10, as the Bisons fell behind 8-1, before making it interesting, closing the deficit to 8-5. In the 9 th inning Buffalo had the tying run at the plate twice. Neither Nick Evans or Kirk Neuwenhuis were able to bring in any more runs.

New Bisons Manager Tim Teufel saw nothing but positives despite the loss. “Our offense never gave up at all and that’s a great sign. That’s good character early on in the season.” Teufel also had good things to say about this outfielder Fernando Martinez, who notched four hits. “He swung the bat well today. He was on his game and it was a great start for him.”

Buffalo did pull off a 13 inning victory on Friday night, thanks to a bases loaded wild pitch which ended a game that went over four hours.

The Bisons are home through Tuesday, with the Pawtucket Red Sox coming in for a four game set. The weather is finally turning springlike, and fans can partake in a new between inning diversion – the wing race. Featuring a wing, a bleu cheese and a celery stalk racing down the warning track for bragging rights, and yes, a season long results tally will be kept. Milwaukee’s sausage race and Pittsburgh’s pierogi race will have nothing on Buffalo!