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Sweeney homer in 11th sends Bisons on to victory

Darnell Sweeney lined a two-run homer to right in the top of the 11th inning, sending the Buffalo Bisons on their way to an 8-6 victory over the Norfolk Tides on Saturday night befoe, 7,073 at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Va.

Sweeney’s homer off Matt Wotherspoon, the fifth Norfolk pitcher, came after minor league baseball’s new tie-breaker rules for extra inning games helped break a tie, then created a new one in the 10th inning.

The home run sent home Jason Leblebijian, who was placed on second base to start the 11th as per the new rules. The Herd added a third run in the 11th, and Norfolk got one run back before reliever Luis Santos got the final out.

Buffalo took advantage of tie-breaker rule in the 10th. Anthony Alford was placed at second came home on a double by Danny Espinosa. At that point Norfolk Manager Ron Johnson was ejected by third base umpire Scott Costello.

In the bottom of the 10th, Alex Presley of the Tides started the inning at second, moved up on a sacrifice and came home Andrew Susac’s single. Back where we started.

The Bisons were one out away from winning in the bottom of the ninth before reliever Sam Moll gave up a two-run double to Joey Rickard, tying the game at 4-4. Moll had preserved a Bisons lead by getting the third out with the bases full in the eighth.

The Bisons broke up a 0-0 tie with three runs in the top of the eighth and added some insurance with a run in the ninth before the bullpen crash. Norfolk got four of its eight hits against Bisons relievers in the last two innings.

Up next: The teams complete the three-game series today (Radio 1520, 1:05 p.m.) with Deck McGuire (1-0, 10.8) slated to start for the Herd against David Hess (0-0, 1.00).

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