As soon as the ball came off the barrel of Josh Satin's bat, Zach Lutz was going. He knew it was hit hard, and so did Bisons manager Tim Teufel, who waved Lutz home.
The throw from left field beat Lutz to the plate, but the 8,200 gathered at Coca-Cola Field burst into cheers as a flash of white popped up out of the collision at home. The ball had come out on the tag, and Lutz had scored on a one-out single to give the Bisons a 3-2, walk-off win.
"The left fielder's got a great arm," Lutz said. "Teufel gave me the go sign, so I just wound up going in. The ball beat me there, but I had a pretty decent slide and knocked the ball out of his glove."
Teufel said you can't teach a player to knock a ball out, it was just the result of hard work.
"He was just running as hard as he could, and went in hard to the catcher," Teufel said. "He was able to cause enough distraction. The play at the plate was exciting, and Lutz was barreling around third and their left fielder has a great arm. It was just a matter of execution, and we executed well on that play."
Lutz was the star of the show Tuesday night. As well as scoring the game-winning run, Lutz tied the game with an absolute blast in the sixth, a solo home run on a mighty swing that sent the ball over the screen in left field and bouncing down the highway on-ramp.
"It was a change-up up in the zone, which is what I wanted, and good things happened," Lutz said. "It was probably one of the best balls I've ever hit."
After a season full of injuries, it's been a relief to Lutz to be consistently producing.
"I definitely feel back on track," he said. "This season I've had a lot of ups and downs, but the last two weeks I've been playing every day, and the more and more I get out there the more and more comfortable I get."
Lutz has hit in eight of 10 games since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 6, and finished the night 2 for 4.
"He's just dangerous," Teufel said of Lutz. "He's the dangerous one in the lineup, him and [infielder Valentino Pascucci], they can leave the yard at any time, and you've got to be careful with those guys."
Lutz couldn't have scored without Satin's hit, but a Satin hit has become something to count on. Since he was called up from Double-A Binghamton, Satin has hit safely in 21 of 24 games.
"Satin's a good hitter, there's no doubt about it," Teufel said. "He barrels the ball, he's very disciplined at the plate, he has a short stroke and he's a base-hit hitter. He's not going to try to hit home runs or anything like that. He comes through in the clutch."
Satin's game-winning single was his third hit of the night.
Starter Dylan Owen put in a solid effort for the Herd, allowing just one run on seven hits and three walks, striking out five in 6 2/3 innings of work.
"Owen was outstanding," Teufel said. "It was just what the team needed."
John Lujan (3-3) earned the win with a scoreless ninth.
Buffalo outfielder Fernando Martinez was moved to the disabled list (left wrist strain) and catcher Manriquez Saloman replaced him on the roster.
The Bisons' homestand continues this afternoon with the final matinee of the season, a 1:05 p.m. start against Toledo (1520 AM). Miguel Batista (1-0, 4.59) will take the mound for the Herd against Andy Oliver (7-9, 4.87).