Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — For the first four innings, the Buffalo Bisons seemed to have an answer when the Pawtucket Red Sox got on the scoreboard. But the Herd was held hitless from the fifth inning onward and ultimately fell to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-4, in 12 innings.
Even Buffalo’s game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth came without registering a hit. With Buffalo trailing 5-4, Red Sox reliever Brayan Villarreal loaded up the bases on walks. He was pulled for Chris Resop, who served a pitch to Steve Tolleson that was hit towards first base. Ryan Lavarnway made a nice dive to stop the ball and get the out but it allowed Matt Tuiasosopo, brought in as a pinch runner, to score the game-tying run on a fielder’s choice. Resop was able to get the PawSox out of the inning with the tie, ending it by striking out Dan Johnson.
Adding insult to injury, Pawtucket sent Justin Henry to the mound in the 12th inning, a fielder who hadn’t pitched since high school. With pitches that never exceeded 65 miles per hour, Henry was able to get three straight Bisons to either fly out or ground out and picked up the save.
Buffalo’s skipper could only ponder the opportunities his team had to end it sooner.
“I looked at the board in the 11th inning and we’re tied at five and we had three hits,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson. “They let us in it to tie the game in the ninth inning there. The ball Tolleson hit was about a foot away from being a two-run single. The first baseman (Lavarnway) made a nice play on it.”
What started as a beautiful Palm Sunday afternoon at 72 degrees changed over the course of the day, with off and on winds and a lowering sun that shone right on home plate in the late stages of the game.