BUFFALO — The long-awaited Ricky Tiedemann Triple-A debut finally came on Friday night and it certainly did not disappoint.
The Blue Jays #1 prospect struck out six and looked completely in control during his four innings of a 9-2 Bisons victory over the Norfolk Tides, Friday night at Sahlen Field. The southpaw allowed just two hits and an unearned run to the delight of a Fan Appreciation Week crowd of 10,244.
Up against a Tides lineup also featuring some of the game’s top prospects, Tiedemann was right at home on the mound in Buffalo. He allowed just four baserunners, and a pair of Herd fielding errors in the first inning is the only reason he yielded a run to Norfolk. He struck out two batters each in the first, third and fourth innings and tossed 41 of his 75 pitches for strikes.
Tiedemann won both of his battles against Tides shortstop Jackson Holliday, who is currently the top prospect in all of minor league baseball. Tiedemann induced Holliday into a slow chopper to retire him as the game’s first batter. Then in the third inning, Tiedemann struck out Holliday on maybe his best pitch of the night, an 83 mph slider that badly fooled the Tides infielder.
After falling down 1-0 after the first, Tiedemann faced the minimum in each of the next three innings with a little help from Herd defense. A heads up doubleplay ended the second when right fielder Addison Barger alerted threw to first after a lineout to double up Josh Lester. In the third, his batter mate Max McDowell erased a Connor Norby walk by throwing the Tides left fielder out trying to steal second base.
The Bisons offense powered past the Tides with three runs in both the third and fourth innings with Barger at the heart of both rallies. With the bases loaded in the second, Barger chopped a single over the second base bag to plate a pair of runs. He then lined a double over Holliday’s head in the fourth to bring home two more runs. Luis De Los Santos and Orelvis Martinez added sac flies in the third and fourth respectively.
Ernie Clement made it 7-2 Buffalo in the sixth inning when he doubled home Rafael Lantigua and Damiano Palmegiani singled home two more in the eighth to close out the 9-2 Herd win.
Lantigua had his third consecutive three-hit game, going 3-4 with a walk. Voted by his teammates as the 2023 Joe De Sa Most Inspirational Player, Lantigua hit his 40th double in the first inning to become just the second Bisons player to reach 40 doubles in a single season in the modern era (Jhonny Peralta, 44, 2004). He also scored three times, giving him 99 runs on the season. He could become just the second player to reach the 100-run mark over the team’s final two games.
The Bisons host the Tides again on Saturday with a 4:05 p.m. first pitch from Sahlen Field. All tickets are $12 each and proceeds of all ticket sales will benefit the Firefighter Arno Memorial Foundation.