The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


April 11, 2012

Bombs away Bisons

BUFFALO — By any barometer, the Buffalo Bisons weathered Opening Day — lightning on the mound, thunder at the plate, sunshine  in the stands, sleet in the ninth and, finally, a forecast of finer days ahead.

“There’s more to come” pledged new manager Wally Backman after the Herd blew away the exiled Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 12-3.
“This team can play like this on a consistent basis.”
Jeurys Familia survived one-fault pitching, Zach Lutz hit two home runs, Josh Satin scored from second base on a sacrifice   fly and the Bisons put up a seven-run third, enough to win any game they’ve played this year.
“Welcome to Buffalo,” Backman said to himself while brushing away the sleet of a storm that threatened a dreaded rain delay   before a crowd announced at 10,905.
It was the Bisons’ highest-scoring home opener ever.
But the Yanks, temporarily based in Rochester this year, led 3-2 lead after Dewayne Wise’s homer following two walks in the   third. “We pitched him backwards,” Backman said of his 22-year-old starter. “I’ve played against that guy for years and know   you can’t throw him that pitch.”
But Familia tightened and Backman allowed him 99 pitches, five innings, enough for a 2-0 record. “That kid’s got lightning   in his arm,” the skipper said. After Wise’s wallop, Herd hurlers allowed just two more hits, one a wind-blown popup, the other   a two-out, ninth-inning double through slush.
Lutz put the Bisons on the board with a homer in the second, then unloaded a monster shot in the fourth, one of three two-run   homers by the Herd in that frame. “He’s got thunder in his bat,” Backman said.
“I don’t think I ever hit a ball that far in my life,” said Lutz. An Oak Street pedestrian picked it up and waved it to him   from 400 feet away.

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