(bisons.com)-Finishing up a disappointing season, the Bisons could have easily packed it in. But the measure of a team's character is not how well it performs with everything on the line, but its effort when all is lost.
The Herd showed what it is made of on Friday. Buffalo has no desire to fold as it closes out the season, and showed it on Saturday.
The Bisons matched up with the Rochester Red Wings on Saturday night, and walked away as a 5-3 victor. The Herd used a four-run third inning to break the game open, and held on with stellar pitching down the stretch.
With Buffalo down 3-0 entering the bottom of the third, the Herd used a big inning to take the lead. After a season of being doomed by the big innings of other teams, the effort was much-needed.
It started off with Matt Den Dekker, who led the inning admirably with a single that was only a foreshadowing of things to come. Next was Mike Nickeas, who followed well with a single that sent Den Dekker to third.
This was just the beginning. Reliable fielder Fred Lewis proceeded to rip a double to right field that scored Den Dekker, and Nickeas rolled to third as a result. When it was all said and done, the Bisons were able to take a 4-3 lead as a result of the big inning. As it turns out, that was enough. The Red Wings would not score again.
In a season marked by promising but inconsistent pitching, the Bisons were able to close the deal on Saturday evening. After a shaky start marked by three runs allowed in the first three frames, the Herd pitching staff locked Rochester up through the final six frames.
Starter Chris Schwinden made it through 6.2 innings, allowing only one walk on the night, compared to five strikeouts. He was relieved by Andrew Carpenter, who induced a strikeout to close the seventh inning.
Garrett Olson and Fernando Cabrera combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth, closing the deal for Buffalo. Cabrera induced an Evan Bigley pop-out to close the deal.
The Bisons and Red Wings play a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Coca Cola Field with the first game scheduled to start at 1:05 pm.