Bisons Beat IronPigs 5-2

( little bit of this, a little bit of that.

That's exactly the kind of performance the Bisons put forth on Saturday night.

Pitching, hitting and defense were all on point to push the Bisons past the IronPigs, 5-2, at Coca-Cola Field for their fourth win in their last five games.

"It's great in that locker room right now," Bisons outfielder Darin Mastroianni said. "We're still making a push, we're still playing pretty hard. We have guys diving all over the place out there, pitchers pitching their butts off and [guys] competing at the plate."

The Bisons came into Saturday's game leading the International League with a .984 fielding percentage. The Herd has committed just 62 errors, five less than any other IL team. The Bisons showed off its sparkling defense with a handful of web gems on Saturday.

Shortstop Kevin Nolan made a jump-throw from deep in the shortstop to get an out in the second inning and knocked down a grounder near second base and made an off-balance throw to get another out in the fifth. Mastroianni also tracked down a deep fly ball in fourth, making a leaping catch before smacking into the outfield fence.

Brett Wallace and Ryan Schimpf added slick plays in the field, too.

"Our defense is incredible and it has been all year," Bisons' starter Liam Hendriks said. "We've had interchangeable guys, guys have gone up and down between here and the big leagues. Everyone who has come up here has been amazing behind me, behind every other starter. Our defense is something we pride ourselves on and it's been absolutely fantastic this year."

The defensive plays were made in front of Hendriks, who pitched another gem. Hendriks allowed just one run, on five hits, while striking out eight. Hendriks lowered his IL-leading ERA to 2.33.

"He does it enough where you kind of expect some perfection out of him," Bisons manager Gary Allenson said of Hendriks. "He does a great job of when he does get in trouble and gives up a run, he just minimizes the damage. He was in a couple jams out there, he just keeps his cool and works out of it."

The Bisons jumped out to an early 4-1 lead with a four-run first inning, in which the Herd sent nine batters to the plate.

Darin Mastroianni got things going with a leadoff single and then stole second base. Adron Chambers' doubled Mastroianni home and Kevin Pillar scored Chambers on a ground ball. An RBI double by Ryan Schimpf and an RBI single by Brett Wallace concluded the scoring.

Mastroianni (2-for-4), Chambers (2-for-3) and Schimpf (2-for-4) were three Bisons with multi-hit performances to lead a 10-hit attack.

The Bisons and IronPigs continue their four-game series with an afternoon contest on Sunday. Bisons' Brad Mills will start and Jo-Jo Reyes (0-0, 12.60 ERA) will start for Lehigh Valley. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.


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