Smith Opens and Closes Scoring in Walkoff Win
(Trenton, NJ) - In their most thrilling home game of the season, the Buffalo Bisons never trailed against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Thursday night at Trenton Thunder Ballpark. Although early leads of 4-0 and 5-2 disappeared and the teams entered the ninth inning tied at five, the Herd wasted no time in walking it off to start their 12-game homestand with three straight wins. Kevin Smith homered for the second straight game and sent the crowd of 4,370 home when he doubled home Breyvic Valera to win it 6-5 in the ninth.
Early on, it looked like the Bisons would waltz for the second straight night as they opened the scoring on Smith's 14th home run two batters into the bottom of the first. In the second, Logan Warmoth worked a two-out walk and scored on Valera's double into right field. The lead grew to 4-0 in the third as IronPigs starter Mark Appel walked Christian Colon and Riley Adams before unloading a wild pitch. Two batters later, Richard Urena hooked a double down the right field line on a night where starter Jacob Waguespack fired three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
The IronPigs finally broke through in the top of the fourth against Nick Allgeyer when Mickey Moniak homered to right after a leadoff double from Dalton Guthrie. They inched closer in the sixth against Joel Payamps, who surrendered a one-out single to Charlie Tilson before Darick Hall tanked his fifth home run to make it a 5-4 ballgame.
Buffalo cooled off because of two scoreless innings from both Brady Lail and Cam Bedrosian, keeping it at a one-run game going into the eighth inning. Facing lefthander Kirby Snead, Matt Vierling led off with a walk and Tilson reached on a fielder's choice when he attempted a bunt. A Hall single put runners at the corners for veteran catcher Tyler Heineman and he tied the score with a bunt single up the grass at first. Fortunately, Snead induced an inning-ending double play as Bryan Baker picked up the slack in a 1-2-3 ninth that featured a pair of strikeouts.
Valera led off the ninth atop the Bisons lineup and singled into right on a 2-2 pitch after picking up RBI base hits in the second and fourth. The very next pitch to Smith was stroked into the left field corner, allowing Valera to race around from first and score the winning run as the Bisons (36-24) improved to 12 games over .500 for the first time all season.
The Bisons and IronPigs start the weekend at Trenton Thunder Ballpark on Friday, July 16 at 7:00 PM. To purchase tickets, call (609)-394-3300, Opt 4 or visit trentonthunder.com.
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