Former Lugnuts Nolin, Pillar star in Bisons’ win

Tuesday's pitching matchup in Buffalo pitted two former Midwest Leaguers against each other.

Tuesday’s pitching matchup in Buffalo pitted two former Midwest Leaguers against each other.

Day 10 of my Cooperstown road trip brought me to Buffalo, N.Y., where I attended a game at Coca-Cola Field for the first time. Because the Buffalo Bisons are the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, I knew I would get to see some former Lansing Lugnuts in action — and two of them starred in the Bisons’ 7-1 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

The starting pitching matchup was LHP Sean Nolin (2011 Lansing Lugnuts) vs. LHP Adam Wilk (2009 West Michigan Whitecaps). Nolin was making his first Triple-A start since coming off the disabled list, and he earned the win after giving up only two hits and a walk in six scoreless innings. He also made a great behind-the-back snag that you can see video of here.

Buffalo Bisons SP Sean Nolin went 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 108.1 IP for the 2011 Lansing Lugnuts.

Buffalo Bisons SP Sean Nolin went 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 108.1 IP for the 2011 Lansing Lugnuts.

Side note: Sean Nolin is not to be confused with Kevin Nolan, the former Lugnuts infielder who played third base for the Bisons on Tuesday.

Buffalo Bisons INF Kevin Nolan batted .301 with 3 HR and 49 RBI in 107 games with the 2010-11 Lansing Lugnuts.

Buffalo Bisons INF Kevin Nolan batted .301 with 3 HR and 49 RBI in 107 games with the 2010-11 Lansing Lugnuts.

Wilk gave up six runs on eight hits, five walks and a hit batsman in six innings. Both he and Nolin each struck out three batters.

Indianapolis Indians SP Adam Wilk went 2-1 with a 1.49 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 36.1 IP for the 2009 West Michigan Whitecaps.

Indianapolis Indians SP Adam Wilk went 2-1 with a 1.49 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 36.1 IP for the 2009 West Michigan Whitecaps.

Six different Bisons players drove in runs. Two were scored by LF Darin Mastroianni, who reached base four times (three walks and a double).

Buffalo Bisons LF Darin Mastroianni (right) talks with hitting/third-base coach Richie Hebner. Mastroianni hit .228 with 3 HR, 25 RBI and 30 SB in 95 games with the 2008 Lansing Lugnuts.

Buffalo Bisons LF Darin Mastroianni (right) talks with hitting/third-base coach Richie Hebner. Mastroianni hit .228 with 3 HR, 25 RBI and 30 SB in 95 games with the 2008 Lansing Lugnuts.

Although teammate Andy LaRoche would later hit a more impressive home run, I was more excited to see Bisons CF Kevin Pillar homer in the bottom of the 1st inning. That’s because Pillar, who has gotten a taste of the big leagues with the Blue Jays, was the Midwest League MVP in 2012.

Buffalo Bisons CF Kevin Pillar is greeted at the plate by teammate Darin Mastroianni after Pillar clubbed a 2-run homer. Pillar hit .322 with 5 HR, 57 RBI and 35 SB in 86 games with the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts.

Buffalo Bisons CF Kevin Pillar is greeted at the plate by teammate Darin Mastroianni after Pillar clubbed a 2-run homer. Pillar hit .322 with 5 HR, 57 RBI and 35 SB in 86 games with the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts.

I’ll be staying in Buffalo for two nights and plan to go to another Bisons game on Thursday before resuming my drive home.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

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This entry was posted in Buffalo Bisons, Indianapolis Indians, International League, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, West Michigan Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

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