On the bases and in the field, speed can make all the difference.
Roemon Fields used his legs to score the go-ahead run and then to protect the advantage in a 5-4 Bisons win on Wednesday afternoon from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. The victory gave the Herd a split of its rain-shortened two-game series against the PawSox.
With the game tied at four in the ninth inning, Fields worked a lead-off walk from Pawtucket reliever Ryan Brasier. The speedster promptly took off from second, and not only did he pick up his second steal of the day, for the second time he forced former Herd backstop Mike Ohlman into a bad throw. As the ball sailed into centerfield, Fields quickly got back on his feet and raced to third.
Dalton Pompey then lifted a fly ball into shallow centerfield, much too close for many runners to take off from home. But Fields used his speed to easily beat the throw from Cole Sturgeon for the go-ahead run.
Fields's work wasn't done there, because the PawSox fought back in the bottom of the ninth. Pawtucket loaded the bases with two outs before Rusney Castillo hit a deep drive to centerfield off reliever Al Alburquerque. Fields chased down the fly ball just in front of the warning track to finish the game.
The Bisons jumped out to the early 3-0 lead on the PawSox thanks to a two-run home run from Devon Travis on the fourth pitch of the game and an RBI-groundout from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in his first career Herd at-bat. The PawSoxused homers from Sam Travis and Ohlman to take a 4-3 lead after three. The Bisons tied the game at four thanks to an RBI-double from Fields in the fourth.
The Bisons bullpen did a tremendous job in relief of starter Chris Rowley. Taylor Guerrieri took over in the fifth and allowed just an infield single in three innings of work while striking out four. Tim Mayza earned the win by striking out three more batters over 1.2 innings of work. Alburquerque worked out of the jam in the ninth for his second save.
The Bisons are off on Thursday and return to Coca-Cola Field on Friday for the start of a seven-game homestand against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the Syracuse Chiefs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.