Bisons postseason hopes end in 4-3 loss
The wild run for the Herd has come to an end. On Monday, the Bisons season will also be over.
Buffalo's incredible push for the 2014 postseason officially came to an end with the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Chiefs' right fielder Destin Hood homered off Colt Hynes for a 4-3 Syracuse win, mere moments after the Bisons rallied from three runs down to tie the game.
With the loss, the Bisons were officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Even in defeat, Buffalo showed the mettle that made this team of constantly-moving parts so loveable during the 2014 season. The Herd was being no-hit for sixth innings by Syracuse starter Paolo Espino, only to score in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to tie the game.
That's really what the 2014 season will be remembered for. A club that featured a team-record 73 different players and 238 roster moves fought to the very end. Buffalo went 19-12 in August, winning the most games in a month since May of 2005. The team was 11 games back of 1st place as late as July 20, but wasn't eliminated until game 142 and on the eve of the regular season finale.
With nine outs to go on Sunday, the Bisons only baserunner -who had reached on an error in the sixth inning- was erased just three pitches later on a doubleplay. Buffalo trailed 3-0 with virtually nothing going right to build off of.
But the Bisons found the resolve to keep their playoff hopes alive a bit longer. Dalton Pompey broke up the no-hitter with a sharp single to lead off the seventh and Brett Wallace followed two batters later with an RBI-double.
In the eighth, it was Pompey delivering the big hit as his double to the right field corner score A.J. Jimenez all the way from first base.
Down 3-2, Cole Gillespie and Wallace led off the ninth with singles. Dan Johnson then smashed a one-hopper that was destined for the right field corner, only to be snared by Chiefs' first baseman Greg Dobbs, who turned the 3-6-3 doubleplay. Undaunted and down to his final strike, Matt Hague delivered a single to left field that cashed in Gillespie to tie the game.
But just as the Bisons evened the score, the Chiefs needed just one pitch to put an end to the Herd's postseason chances.
Raul Valdes started for the Bisons, but was ineffective pitching on short rest. He yielded three runs in 3.1 innings, leaving with the bases loaded in the Syracuse fourth. Daniel Norris worked in relief for the first time as a Bison, striking out three in two scoreless innings.
The Bisons will conclude the 2014 season Monday afternoon with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch from NBT Bank Stadium.