ALLENTOWN, PA - Triple-A newcomer LHP Daniel Norris silenced the IronPigs' bats, striking out thirteen batters in less than six innings, while getting two big innings from his offense to hand the Buffalo Bisons a 7-1 victory in Friday night's series opener in front of a capacity sellout crowd at Coca-Cola Park.
Norris - who struck out ten Durham Bulls over six innings in his Triple-A debut on August 10 - dazzled in his second career International League start, allowing one run on three hits while striking out thirteen IronPigs in five an two-thirds innings.
The only run allowed by the 21-year-old Tennessee native came in the fifth inning when 1B Jim Murphy started the inning with a lead-off triple, later scoring on a OF Tony Gwynn Jr. RBI-single to cut the Bisons' lead to 3-1.
Buffalo scored the first three runs of the game in the third inning off of Lehigh Valley starter RHP Sean O'Sullivan, with three consecutive two-out singles scoring two runs before a throwing error by C Koyie Hill allowed a third run to score.
O'Sullivan was removed from the game after throwing 111 pitches with two outs in the fifth inning and the Pigs down 3-0.
RHP Ethan Martin relieved the Lehigh Valley starter with two outs and two on in the fifth, and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning. Martin would throw two and one-third scoreless innings to keep the Pigs within one run entering the eighth inning.
The Bisons would put the game away in the eighth inning, scoring four runs to give the visitors a 7-1 advantage. The big blow in the inning was the two-run blast by DH Ryan Schimpf off of RHP B.J. Rosenberg, and after two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out, Rosenberg would hit OF Kevin Pillar with a pitch to score the third run of the inning.
RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez would enter the game after the bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, retiring both batters he faced, but allowing the fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch, giving the Bisons a 7-1 lead.
The IronPigs tallied five hits, while striking out a season-high sixteen times on Friday night, with Murphy's triple being the only Lehigh Valley extra-base hit.
These two teams will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday, with LHP Greg Smith set to take the mound on Pirates and Princesses night, featuring special pirate-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game, presented by Reichel Funeral Home. Saturday night's 6:35 pm. game will also feature a post-game 3-D Fireworks show, presented by AT&T.