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For the Bisons, it just gets better and better

Fridaynightbash night has been good for the Herd this year, and again so tonight at Coca Cola Field, as a big crowd on hand got to watch the Buffalo Bisons beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-3. This time the damage was done via the bat of Valentino Pascucci, who crushed two mammoth home runs, the first one off the centerfield batter’s eye screen, and the second towering blast that cleared the left field fence and ended up on the other side of the Oak Street on ramp to the I-190.

Consider that the Bisons finish this season with a 6-2 record against the Gwinnett Braves, one of the elite teams in the International League and the team with the most prized pitching prospects. Manager Wally Backman could only smile as he talked about his team which is firing on all cylinders. On Pascucci: “He’s another guy don’t make mistakes throwing to him at the plate. Big strong kid like that if you make mistakes you’ll see that ball over the freeway out there,” said Backman.

With the departure of Jordany Valdespin and Bobby Scales, Backman is now enjoying a lot of speed in the top of the lineup in the form of Fred Lewis and Corey Wimberly.”We’ve added some speed at the top of the order and the gives us another dimension that we didn’t have. Yesterday I think we stole four bases and that’s the first time since 2007 that has happened here in Buffalo. So with the addition of those two guys we got speed, we got some power, now we can score runs in a lot of different ways.” Wimberly also made a speeding running catch in the top of the 9th on Thursday night. With Gwinnett runners on second and third and nobody out and the Bisons nursing a 4-2 lead, the catch saved the game. “Never a doubt” Backman quipped.

The longest homestand in Bisons modern history continues Saturday, with the Indianapolis Indians, farmhands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, coming to Buffalo for a four game set.

Other Notes:

-Saturday night will be the second coin giveaway (first 2000 fans through the turnstiles) of the season. Each set contains 5 relief coins of famous Bisons players and moments over the course of the team’s 25 year history downtown. Dorn Taylor and Carlos Garcia are two of the featured coins in this second set.

-How about former Bisons catcher Rob Johnson, who was recently called up to the parent New York Mets. Faced with an ugly outing up in Toronto and out of pitching, Johnson was called in for spot pitching duty. He induced two pop fly balls and struck out the third batter for a perfect inning.

-If you were at the yard on Thursday, then you saw Matt Tuiasosopo hit an inside-the-park home run, the 9th such feat in the downtown ballpark’s history.

-A Wrigley tradition in Buffalo? In the house on Friday was John Mackowiak, Communications Director for State Senator Tim Kennedy. Along with a group of his friends and sitting in the Bully Hill party deck, it was Mackowiak’s friend and roommate Jack Shea of South Buffalo who caught Gwinnett left fielder Stefan Gartrell’s home run ball in the top of the 1st inning. “Right away we told Jack, ‘throw it back’. Our buddy Rory Parker got our whole group to start chanting,” said Mackowiak. Shea decided to oblige. “There was no way I was keeping that ball,” said Shea. So the ball got lobbed back on the field, prompting applause from the fans on the deck. Good times.

  • Mike Garvey

    This is only indirectly related to your post, but my 5-year-old daughter, Maeve, was the honorary batgirl for the first four innings of Friday night’s game.  This morning she took a baseball, autographed by “her” teammates, to show her class. 

    The Bisons are lucky to have some really stand up guys on the team, and Buffalo is lucky to have the Bisons.