The Buffalo Bisons dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Iowa Cubs on Thursday evening, and in each outing a statistical oddity happened.

In each contest, the Herd were nearly no-hit. And while they had no chance to mount a comeback in the first game, they nearly pulled off a victory in the second.

The first outing – a 10-2 blowout – Christopher Morel hit his fifth homer of the season in the third inning, a solo shot that increased the Cubs’ lead to 2-0 after an RBI single off pitcher Zach Thompson opened the scoring in the first. A base hit up the middle by Darius Hill then drove in two runs for the Cubs and a two-run home run by Matt Mervis made it 6-0 before Thompson was lifted for Brandon Eisert.

Another two-run blast, this one by Mike Tauchman to left-centerfield, increased the lead to 8-0 and Sergio Alcantara made it 10-2 with a two-run double. On the verge of being no-hit in the seventh, Wynton Bernard broke it up with a base hit and Stevie Berman ended the shutout bid with a two-run double.

The second game saw a two-run double by David Bote off Yosver Zulueta gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the first inning and Mike Mastrobuoni earned a walk with the bases loaded in the second to make it 3-0. It remained this way – with three runs on two hits by Iowa and no hits or runs for the Herd – until the seventh inning.

Following a walk and a base hit, the no-hit bid was once again evaporated. Ernie Clement came to the plate with no outs and reached first, but the runner at first base was thrown out at second. With a double play still potentially there, Jordan Luplow hit a pop fly to centerfield but it was dropped and allowed the runner at third to score.

With runners at second and third base with one out and Cam Eden having been walked over to first to load the bases, Cam Sanders replaced Anthony Kay (who was brought in to replace starter Riley Thompson) to face Rafael Lantigua. Lantigua then got an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 3-2, but Buffalo was down to their last out.

Following a walk by Spencer Horwitz, the bases were loaded once again – this time for Vinny Capra, who could have tied or won the game with one swing of the bat. However, Capra struck out, ending any chance to complete the comeback.

The Bisons’ homestand against Iowa continues through Sunday, April 23.

Tony Fiorello

Tony’s work has appeared in multiple publications, including The Buffalo News, Bee Group Newspapers, From the 300 Level, WNYAthletics, Sports and Leisure Magazine, Community Papers of WNY, the Tonawanda News, the Niagara Gazette, WNY Hockey Report and Buffalo Hockey Central. He graduated from Buffalo State College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Follow him on Twitter @anthonyfiorello.

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