It was a somber night at the ballpark Thursday.
The Buffalo Bisons swept a doubleheader with the Charlotte Knights at Coca-Cola Field, winning 7-3 in the opener and 4-2 in the nightcap.
The Bisons played in front of the home crowd for the first time since announcing the death of 93-year-old Francis E. Mooney on Wednesday. An emotional moment of silence was held before the start of the second game.
Known as “The Mayor of Coca-Cola Field,” Mooney worked for the Bisons for 30 years – all of which came after he spent three decades working at the Ford Stamping Plant in Buffalo. Before that, Mooney served in the U.S. Navy as a frogman in Special Operations (which later became the Navy SEALs) in World War II. He was awarded four bronze stars for his work, which dealt with clearing underwater obstacles in the pacific.
With the Bisons, the “Moonman” worked as an account representative, but became best known for how he connected with fans. In 2012, he was honored with the third annual “Spirit of the International League” award for his dedication to helping fans have an enjoyable experience at the ballpark.
Roster moves: Infielder Munenori Kawasaki was activated by the Herd after being optioned from the parent Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. Outfielder Melky Mesa also joined Buffalo after being promoted from Double-A New Hampshire. Outfield Chris Dickerson (shoulder) was placed on the disabled list.
Pitchers of record: Randy Wolf improved to 5-1 for the Bisons by throwing a seven-inning complete game in the opener. Wolf allowed four hits and three runs, striking out six and walking two. Scott Carroll (3-2) took the loss for Charlotte. In the nightcap, Jeff Francis got the win for the Herd, going four innings and allowing six hits, striking out four to improve to 2-0 and lower his earned-run average to 3.00. Charlotte's Miguel Chalas (0-1) took the loss.
Time of games: 2:03 Game One; 2:01 Game Two.
Paid attendance: 5,682.
Team records: The Herd improved to 30-32, while Charlotte fell to 33-28.
What’s next: The Bisons have a rare Friday off as the annual Taste of Country concert brings an expected crowd of 25,000 into Coca-Cola Field. The series with the Knights continues at 7:05 p.m. Saturday with Andrew Albers (2-8, 4.33) of the Bisons facing Chris Beck (3-2, 3.04 ERA).