Infielder Ryan Schimpf never had thrown a pitch in his professional baseball career – until Tuesday.
With his bullpen maxed out, Buffalo Bisons manager Gary Allenson called on Schimpf in the 11th inning to try and save a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday afternoon at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.
Although he walked the bases full, Schimpf managed to get the job done, picking up the save.
Schimpf threw 24 pitches, only nine for strikes, but got out of a bases-loaded-no-outs jam when Audy Ciriaco and Carlos Moncrief were retired on fly balls.
Allenson had already used three relief pitchers before calling on Schimpf. The last, closer Bo Schultz (1-0), had pitched three innings. Gregory Infante, Bobby Korecky and Colt Hynes had come on in relief of starter Felix Doubront. Luis Perez and Rob Rasmussen, who had pitched Monday night, were unavailable.
Hynes and Schultz pitched in the eighth when the Clippers scored three runs to tie the game. A two-run double by Adam Moore was the big hit of the inning.
Schimpf, 27, was drafted in the fifth round in 2009 by the Toronto Blue Jays out of LSU.
Streaks over: The outcome ended Buffalo’s eight-game road losing streak, which included Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Clippers. It also snapped Columbus’ 11-game home winning streak.
Diaz comes through: Jonathan Diaz singled home the winning run in the top of the 11th. Luke Scott led off the inning with a double. After Andy Burns was called out on strikes, Schimpf, who began the game at third base, was intentionally walked. Sean Ochiko flied out for the second out before Diaz lined a single to right.
Glenn still hot: Brad Glenn, who had 14 hits in 31 previous at-bats before Tuesday’s game, hit his third home run of the season to lead off the sixth and give the Bisons a 4-1 lead. Glenn went 1 for 4 but still is batting .428 since May 11.
Mr. Consistency: Matt Hague, who moved from first base to third base when Schimpf took the mound, was 2 for 5. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games.
Happy Hunting: The Bisons never have lost a series at Huntington Park, which opened in 2010. That streak will be on the line when the teams play the rubber game of the series Wednesday (Radio 1520 AM, 6:35 p.m.).
Wednesday’s probables: Lefty Randy Wolf (3-0, 1.10 ERA) for the Bisons versus lefty Nick Maronde (0-4, 5.70) of the Clips.
Attendance: 9,553 on a sunny day.