by Amy Moritz
There's something to be said for battling and working hard until the final out. There's something good in finally finding your offense. Even if it doesn't come until the ninth inning.
So that's the bright spot for the manager Marty Brown while the Buffalo Bisons fell to the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-3 at Coca-Cola Field.
The Herd scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth. A one-out single from Jim Negrych was followed up with a home run shot to left to cut the deficit in half. A walk and two singles ended up scoring Eugenio Velez, but the Herd's rally ended on a Ryan Goins strikeout.
"We've got to get everybody clicking but I like to see the fire that we had in the last inning," Brown said. "It was nice."
"I think everybody's going out and giving the best effort that they know how. You've got to give their starter some credit because he did mix in cutters and located to both sides of the plate and we really struggled to make any kind of adjustment to him. But it's nice to see us ... have a run to give us a chance to win the game."
Syracuse starter Ryan Tatusko (2-3) picked up the win pitching seven shutout innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The big picture has the Bisons falling two games below .500 for the first time the season. The team was 10 games over .500 at eight different points earlier this season. And the problem has been the offense, which entered Saturday's game hitting .161 and have scored 11 runs in six games.
"The guys know we're in a bit of lull right now, but it's about bringing your A game from the first inning on," Brown said. "That A game may not be what it normally is because everyone's run down a little bit but that's baseball. That's why you play every day. One day a week in football, you get a chance to regroup. You don't get a chance to regroup here. That's why it's such an interesting game."
For more on the Bisons fall from first place, look for my story in Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News.
The Bisons and Syracuse will play a scheduled double-header Sunday at Coca-Cola Field, beginning at 1 p.m.